Ellevate XC Team Takes on Island Cup Series

Ellevate XC Team Takes on Island Cup Series

Words: Jess Daniels


The local XC racing scene kicked off on March 27th on the Island, and Ellevate XC has so far raced all the races on offer by Island Cup Series. Ellevate XC have been incorporating these races into their build to get some race intensity before the upcoming Canada Cups and other A-priority races. 


Ellevate XC RacingPhoto: Patrick Burnham, @Palleus


Hammerfest XC saw a great turn out of elite women following a National team camp on the island. This was the first race the team did together as Hannah Simms travelled out from Ontario to catch a break from winter joined by Jess, Frederica, and Emily. The race overall saw a great turnout of all ages and categories and the team enjoyed the hectic mass start of riders for the first time in many years. The course was excellent, however the conditions were challenging with wet weather and peanut butter-like mud making the race over 2 hours long. Fred was riding a strong race and unfortunately broke a chain and DNF'd. Jess structured her race in between some base riding to and from the venue and had a big 6 hour day on the bike, coming into 6th place. Hannah had a very strong race coming into 4th and Emily had an excellent result coming into second place amongst a strong elite field. 


 Photo: Patrick Burnham, @Palleus

The following weekend saw round 2 at Hartland XC with some proper tech and janky sections - to say it was a technical race would be an understatement! Nonetheless, Emily and Fred's technical skills shon in this race, coming 1st and second, respectively. 


Cobble Hill was the third Island Cup Series race. This super fast course with relatively dry conditions and some awesome climbs made for a great opportunity to test the climbing legs. Emily and Fred participated in this race in a large and fast field. Emily placed 3rd here and Fred in 6th. 


Ellevate XC podium

 Photo: Patrick Burnham, @Palleus

Fred was the lone Ellevate rider that made the trek to Powell River XC, and she enjoyed a walk-on ferry venture and commute to the race on a quiet gravel road. The Powell River course was flowy and fun and Fred took her first win of the season. 


Nanaimo was the fifth stop for the team, with Jess and Fred attending. It was another chilly, rainy day on the island with technical and muddy conditions, long climbs. long techy twisty descents, and off-camber hills. Fred and Jess both found the day mentally and physically challenging with the cooler temperatures and conditions, coming in 3rd and 5th, respectively.


Ellevate XC Racing

 Photo: Patrick Burnham, @Palleus

With Emily back in her hometown of Salmon Arm for the summer and Hannah training and prepping in Costa Rica for the Trans Costa Rica mountain bike stage race, Fred and Jess look forward to taking on Cumberland XC on April 15th which will be the final Island Cup Series race for the team. This will be the last grassroots tune up race before BC XCO Provincials on May 22. After this, the season really ramps up with the start of the Canada Cup season in Baie-Saint-Paul. Canmore Canada Cup will be a race to watch out for as the whole team will be in force as well as XCO/XCC Nationals in Ontario in July. The teams full calendar of events for 2022 can be found at www.ellevatexc.com 


Ellevate XC racingPhoto: Patrick Burnham, @Palleus

This year, all four Ellevate members are riding the Juliana Wilder as part of a parternship between Juliana Bikes and Steed Cycles which is proving to be a great bike for BC cross country riding. With slightly longer travel and slacker geometry than typical pure XC bikes, the team is also really enjoying the smooth shifting of Sram's wireless AXS groupsets which make racing in any conditions a breeze.