Gabby Keen - Downhill/Freeride
At 17 years old, Whistler based athlete Julia Long has her sights set on qualifying for XC Canadian Nationals and placing in the top 10 in junior women. Julia has been a Ride Like a Girl athlete for two seasons, and in 2017 she was matched with former Olympian Rosara Joseph. Julia was the recipient of the 2016 XC bursary ($500) and was matched with pro Sandra Walter for the 2016 season. She rides for the Summit Sports Bike Team, based out of Whistler. She had a strong 2015 season taking the U17 win at the BC XC Championships, winning the North Shore High School Race League and high school Provincials for XC and Enduro, and taking 3rd in her category at the Whistler Canada Cup XC. Julia plans to continue to volunteer with Whistler Off Road Cycling Association events and hopes to coach kids through their dirt camps.
Emily Handford - XC
Emily Handford, 16, is a Cycling BC High Performance Team rider, whose 2015 focus was on doing well at the XC Nationals and qualifying for the Western Canada Games. Emily was the 2014 BC Champion for XC in her age category, and won her age category in both the Test of Metal and GearJammer marathon XC races. She also raced Singletrack Six – a six day stage race in Alberta and BC. Emily was matched with pro rider Sandra Walter for the 2015 season, and had grassroots support from Rocky Mountain Bicycles. In 2015, Emily placed 2nd at the XCO Nationals and brought home many podiums at national events.
Emilly Johnston, 13, spent the 2015 season focused on racing Island Cup XC and Enduro races, and Provincial Championships. In early 2015, Emilly won the overall title for women of all ages at the Cumberland Coal Town Classic 30 km race - taking the lead on 11 other women (all of whom were older than her). Emilly placed 2nd overall in 2014 in the Intermediate Category for XC in the Island Cup Series, and placed 4th at Crankworx, Whistler in the XC in the 13 to 18 year old category. Emilly organized Cumberland’s first ever Tuesday twoonie races, and was responsible for selecting and flagging the courses, organizing sponsors and promoting the events. Emilly is supported by Trail Bicycles and was matched with pro-rider Mical Dyck and received the Ride Like a Girl XC bursary for the 2015 season. In 2015, Emilly cleaned up in the Island Cup Series with 2nd in the Cyclocross Series (Intermediate) and winning the Island Cup Enduro Series (Expert) and the Island Cup XC Series (Intermediate).
Ainhoa Ijurko is a 14 year old athlete, from Squamish, BC. Originally from Spain, Ainhoa has her focus set on Enduro racing, and will also be doing some XC and DH events. Her dream is to one day compete on the Enduro World Series circuit. She will be racing as many of the BC Enduro races as she can get to as well as events at Crankworx in Whistler. Highlights of her racing to date include several wins as a junior in both XC and DH twoonie races in Squamish and Whistler, a 2nd place finish last year in Kidworx at Crankworx, and several wins in the junior women category in Enduro races in Spain in 2014. To give back to the community, Ainhoa volunteers her time helping at local races, bike events, and teaching younger kids to ride. Ainhoa’s 2016 sponsor is: One Up Components, and she has been matched with Squamish based pro Jaime Hill.
Emilly Johnston - XC
Kyleigh Stewart is a 16 year old DH/Freeride athlete from Kamloops, BC. Stewart recently won the Open Women category in dual slalom at Sea Otter and placed 3rd in her category in downhill. Her 2015 results include 1st in Jr Women at the Provincials and winning the BC Cup Champion title, 1st U17 in the Canadian Nationals, and being crowned princess of Crankworx. Her goals include racing a World Cup and being Provincial and National DH Champion. Kyleigh will be organizing some women’s only clinics and rides through her local bike shop and she plans to get her PMBI Coaching Certification. Kyleigh’s 2016 sponsors include: Liv/Giant, Muscle Milk, Crankbrothers, Spank, Royal Racing, Seven Idp, and 100%. She has been matched with Whistler based pro Trish Bromley.
At 12 years old, Jaya Guibert of Pemberton, BC is Ride Like a Girl's youngest athlete but is already a force to be reckoned with, known locally for her excellent skills in technical terrain. Her aim for the 2016 season is to do more downhill and enduro races, and develop her skills, and also inspire other girls her age to ride. She plans to race some of the BC Enduro Series, Kidsworx at Crankworx, and Phat Wednesday races in Whistler. Jaya’s mentor for the season is former World Cup racer Micayla Gatto.
Bailey Goldstone - Freeride
Gabby Keen, 15, of Port Moody, BC is a downhill and freeride athlete to watch for on the circuit. Gabby was a Ride Like a Girl athlete in 2016 and 2017 and was matched with pro rider Jaime Hill for 2017 and pro Katie Holden for 2017. , Gabby also received the gravity bursary of $500 to help with race expenses in 2016. Gabby has been actively involved as a volunteer with the Tricities Off Road Cycling Association helping with trail days, events, and the Take a Kid Mountain Biking program. In 2015, Gabby placed 3rd in the B-Line Kidsworx race at Crankworx, and won the same race the previous year.
Georgia Astle, 17 yrs old from Whistler, BC was selected as a DH athlete for the 2015 program. In 2014, Georgia was on the podium numerous times in the pro-elite category in DH and Enduro events, including placing 4th at the Canadian Nationals in pro. In addition to her racing goals, Georgia coaches youth summer programs in Whistler and actively volunteers at trail days and mountain bike events in her community. Georgia was matched with well known local Pro Katrina Strand, and had sponsorship support from Juliana Bicycles, Race Face and AFD racing. As a highlight from 2015, Georgia took 4th at the World Championships (Jr) in Andorra and made top 15 in pro at her first World Cup at Mt St Anne.
Sorsha, 15 years old, is a Team Squamish racer that has her sights set on getting faster and mastering technical terrain to gain a competitive edge xc racing. Her focus for 2016 is on the Test of Metal series of XC events and BC Cups. She has been matched with pro Katrina Strand for the 2016 season. During the summer, Sorsha volunteers with Team Squamish at local races, such as the Test of Metal series, and also works for Mark Bunyan Training with the kids’ camps to help inspire kids to get excited about riding bikes.
Julia Long - XC
Stephanie Denroche, 18, from Whistler, BC was selected to participate in the Ride Like a Girl program as a DH athlete for three years in a row. After a successful 2015 season including winning the Provincial Championships U19 category and a second place finish at the Canadian Championships, Stephanie has her sights set on being selected as a junior to represent Canada at the World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy this September. Stephanie gives back to the biking community by volunteering with the iRide Program and teaching elementary students to bike, as well as helping beginner high school age riders get into the sport. Stephanie’s 2016 sponsors include: Live to Play Sports – Norco; Ryders Eyewear; Race Face and West Coast Float, and she has been matched with pro Miranda Miller.
Jaya Guibert - Downhill/Enduro
Georgia Astle - Downhill/Enduro
2017 was Xiola’s first time with the Ride Like a Girl program. Coming off a strong 2016 season with a 1st place finish in BC High School Provincials (Queen of the Mountain) and a 3rd place finish in the BC Enduro Series in the U21 category, her goal is to race as many BC Enduros and Canadian National Enduros as possible and to improve her results from last year. She hopes to eventually be racing amongst the best riders in the EWS. Xiola was paired with Sarah Leishman for the 2017 season and is focused on improving her downhill speed and increasing her confidence on the steep, technical terrain. Her focus when she rides is to push herself and learn, but always have fun! Xiola helped the WORCA coaches last summer with the young riders at Dirt Camp and recognizes the importance of nurturing their love of the sport. She hopes to inspire kids to keep having fun on their bikes. Xiola plans to volunteer on PORCA trail days with her Dad and other events held in Pemberton and Whistler.
Stephanie Denroche - Downhill
Xiola Aldrich- Enduro
Kyleigh Stewart - Downhill/Freeride
Ainhoa Ijurko - Enduro
Sorsha Henning - XC
Mila Wittenberg, 14, from Whistler, BC is another rising star on the xc scene. Mila dominated the 2015 XC high school race series in her age category, won the Junior overall title in Whistler's xc twoonie race series, and placed 4th at the Canada Cup in Whistler. This year Mila has the opportunity to be mentored by pro Mical Dyck. To give back to the cycling community, she volunteers helping out at local trail days and plans to spend time getting kids into the sport.
Mila Wittenberg - XC
For freeriding, in 2015 and again in 2017, Ride Like a Girl was proud to support 14 year old Bailey Goldstone of Squamish, BC. In 2017 Bailey was matched with pro rider Carolyn Kavanagh, and focused her energy on DH racing and free riding Bailey spent the 2015 season focusing on improving her technical skills including mastering challenging terrain features, improving her jumping skills, and competing in some DH and BMX races. Bailey was matched with pro rider Katie Holden. Her sponsors include KORE Components, 5.10 shoes and Royal Racing Clothing.