Elite 1/2

Ali VanYzendoorn

My name is Ali and I am an 19 year old cyclist who races on the road and on the track. When I was 12, I was a runner and  running was something my dad and I really enjoyed doing together. However, after my dad injured his achilles tendon, we couldn’t run together anymore. He then looked into buying a bike for him and I so we could continue being active together. My love for the sport of cycling grew from there!

I have had the opportunity to represent Canada at two Junior Track World Championships and have raced with Team Ontario for track nationals and road nationals multiple times. I am now a full time student at the University of Waterloo and am taking on the challenge of racing at the elite level while working towards getting my degree in Kinesiology. I love challenging myself and am looking forward to a great season with this amazing group of women!

Erica Leonard

Hi everyone! My name is Erica Leonard and I am extremely excited to be racing with the High Gate Cycling Team for the 2018 season! I have been a cyclist my whole life, mainly a mountain biker, but my love for the sport has made me expand my interests to road and Cyclocross! I’ve raced internationally as a mountain biker and a Cyclocross racer with the Canadian National Team and with Team Ontario at the National level for the past couple of years.

Currently I am studying kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario while training and preparing for the 2018 season! I love studying Kin as I find it’s fascinating and exciting, all the while relatable to my life as a cyclist.

I have been very interested in pursuing road cycling over the past couple of years because it gives cycling an element of teamwork that I don’t really get to experience in other disciplines. I think that the High Gate Women’s Team is especially a great opportunity to work with such inspiring women that will push me to be smarter and go harder in training and racing!

My goals for 2018 include managing my school work/training in a healthy, achievable, and realistic way; to gain experience and fitness racing with HighGate at the provincial and national level for road; and finally to qualify for the mountain bike World Championships in Switzerland as a 2nd year U23 racer.

Now just to make it all happen! Looking forward to a great season, watch out for me in our navy blue kit this year!

Andrea Elliott

My Name is Andrea Elliott.  I have been riding for roughly 9 years.  I have raced at the elite 1/2 level for the past 3 seasons.

Prior to riding I was a competitive figure skater at the senior competitive level.  I represented Eastern Ontario at the Canadian Figure Skating Championships from 2000-2004.  After retiring from skating I knew I wanted to find another sport.  I watched the Tour de France the following summer and I was instantly hooked on cycling.  Initially I rode just to push my own limits but I met a local bike shop owner (George Hussey) who got me into racing.  I fell in love with it instantly.

Since being a 1/2 racer I represented Canada at the Amateur World Championships in 2015 in Alborg Denmark, placing 9th in the time trial and 7th in the road race.  I also placed 3rd at this year’s Steve Bauer Classic.

I’m very excited to be joining HighGate this season.  There’s a lot of talented, humble riders on this team.  I’m very much looking forward to learning and improving with this strong group of women and I can’t wait for the 2018 season to start.

Paolina Allan

My name is Paolina Allan. I have been riding a 2 wheeler since I was 3 years of age.
Through commitment, determination and shear grit, The Bicycle has taken me on a journey I never thought would happen to me.  Especially racing as a Professional Triathlete for 7 years, learning that Mental Tenacity was one of my greater assets. The triathlon career took me on a journey of many wins and not so many wins!  I am just thrilled now to be a part of HighGate Racing and look forward to a solid season on the bike.

Coming from a strong time trial background with triathlon has given me the opportunity to wear the Yellow Jersey (the most respected Jersey in cycling!) at The Green Mountain 4 day Stage Race.  I also wore the Queen of the Mountain and Yellow Jersey at the Tour of the Catskills.

2016 Haute Route Pyrenees 7 day stage race 6th overall female.

Canadian Long Course Athlete of the Year 2009

Volunteer Work:

2017 –  Ride To Conquer Cancer  Working to bring more women to the event and Hosted a `How to Get Started Clinic’ with Kind Human bike store. I designed a 15-week training programme for the ladies.
2016  – Founded in Partnership the Eagles All Womens Cycling Group – as a sub group of the Newmarket Eagles Cycling Club
2016-2017 – Hon. Race Director for the All Woman’s Multisport Canada Triathlon.

Ride leader and Ambassador for The Hero Ride and Coast to Coast ride.

Lindsay Sferrazza

Hi my name is Lindsay, and I have been an athlete for most of my life. I love competing and making friends through sport, and my specialty in cycling is the TT. I was a rower for 11 years, and had the opportunity to represent Canada as a lightweight before retiring. I always loved riding my road bike as a form of cross training when I was rowing, so it was an easy switch to cycling once my rowing career ended. I fell in love with riding because it allows you to explore both new and familiar places while training, and it’s a very group oriented sport. I love being on a team and pushing myself and others to new limits, which is why I am super excited to race with Highgate this upcoming season!

Aubrie De Sylva

As someone who’s only been riding a bike for two and a half years, I certainly jumped head first into cycling. I am Aubrie, and aside from road and track cycling, have a busy career outside the sport. Time management is critical to balance the requirements of competing at an elite level on the bike and managing professional responsibilities. I first fell in love with the sport on the velodrome, and that remains closest to my heart, having achieved notable results against much more experienced girls early on in my career. Last year I started on the Ontario Cup circuit with a  few races and had several podium finishes, with a 3rd overall at the Ontario Criterium Championships. This year in the E1/2 field, I’ve faced a few more challenges outside the sport but am grateful for the wonderful network of women here with Highgate Racing and for the friendships I’ve made. I love the challenges on a deeply personal level that cycling forces you to face head on to be successful in many parts of your life, and am grateful for each and every day when I get to ride my bike.

Sarah Elliott

Hi, I’m Sarah Elliott. I am honoured and extremely proud to be riding for HighGate Racing again in 2018.

After being challenged to make the jump from enthusiastic city bike commuter to road rider, by joining The Ride to Conquer Cancer, the next thing I knew I was lining up for my first Ontario Cup race in 2015. I tried a few road and triathlon races in my first 2 years of cycling with mixed results. In 2017, I challenged myself to race the full Ontario Cup season in the Elite 3 category. My goal was to get a feel for racing strategy and keeping up with the main pack. I finished the year as the Overall Winner of the Elite 3 Women’s Category and 8th Overall GC at the Green Mountain Stage Race Women’s Cat 3/4.

Each year my goal is to be stronger than the last and that will continue into 2018, now racing in Elite 1/2. The unwavering encouragement from the talented women on this team makes what once seemed impossible, possible. I can’t wait to race along side the riders who have inspired me and help the team anyway I can.

Katya Masun

Franny Jewett

When I was given my first road bike 7 years ago to join the Ride to Conquer Cancer, I didn’t expect to completely fall in the love with the sport. Last year was my first year of racing (Masters) and was fortunate to have the HighGate ladies by my side. With support of our team, I will take a leap in 2019 to race Elite 2!
In my youth, I was a competitive trampolinist, representing Canada around the world for ten years. I have tried other sports since but cycling is by far the most exciting physically, mentally and socially. My best vacations have been spent cycling in Portugal, Belgium, France, VT, NY, AZ, HI and NC with my husband and amazing cycling companions from Uxbridge.

Kristen Marchant

My name is Kristen Marchant and am super excited to be racing with the Highgate Racing team! I took up triathlon in 2012, which meant I had to start riding a bike. I immediately fell in love with it, as it gave me a way to explore and continually challenge myself to go further and faster. I managed a couple of wins at the World Championships at the age group level in triathlon before taking my pro card in 2015. I have seen success at that level as well with multiple podium finishes, although injuries have forced an extended hiatus from the sport for the time being. To continue to have an avenue to challenge myself, I decided to enter the road cycling scene in 2018. I love the different dynamics and tactics that road racing provides and the unique challenges that come with it. My passion still remains the long TT rides, but anything that involves racing on my bike makes me smile. Looking forward to another great season with Highgate Racing!


Nancy Schmeler

I started road cycling in high school as a way to stay fit during the off season during my competitive ski racing years!  I took a long break after University and did a bit of spinning before deciding to do the Ride to Conquer Cancer, a  200KM ride over 2 days in 2011!  Every season I took on a new challenge in cycling and added triathlon to the mix in 2012.  Since this time I consider cycling my biggest passion – racing various disciplines road, TT, track,  and  triathlon over the last 5 years including 3 full Ironman  & 4 Half Ironman events.  My mission is to get as many women and girls out biking as possible. I spent so many hours training in the off season I decided to open an indoor power cycling studio so I could train with other like minded individuals. I’m also a NCCP certified Tri coach.

My studio Dig Deep Cycling & Fitness has an ambassador program for women who want to do their first triathlon, I support 5 women per year and help them train and stay motivated throughout the year up to their 1st race. I recently became a Felt Freedom ambassador – which is a new North American program Felt started with their dealers (D’Ornellas in Toronto) to promote the growth of women in cycling. Being a sponsor for Highgate was a natural fit for me as Highgate has similar goals of providing a supportive environment for women in cycling & specifically while racing – combined these organizations’ support of young female students/cyclists was of natural interest!

Janis Nixon-Phillips

Hey there! I’m Janis. At an early age, I won my first real bike at a Golden Easter Egg Hunt and the rest is history! I’ve managed to get in to all kinds of mischief over the years on two wheels. My bike and I took a break from each other when my kids were young, but thankfully that separation didn’t last too long! To celebrate my 40th birthday, I tried mountain biking and experienced the most epic fall! That rekindled my passion for cycling.
I’m a member of the Newmarket Eagles Cycling Club, and co-founded the Newmarket eGALS, an all female cycling group to promote and grow women’s cycling in York Region. I volunteer with the Canadian Mental Health Association York Region & Simcoe South to market & grow awareness, participation, and funding for their annual GTA-area ‘Ride Don’t Hide’ event in support of mental health! Cycling has also led me to triathlon. I plan to complete my first IRONMAN in Mont Tremblant this August! I’m super excited to join the esteemed Highgate Masters women’s racing team – here’s to a fun and exciting season on two wheels!

Holly Roach

My Name is Holly Roach. I am a relatively new to the cycling scene and began riding about 4 years ago. I had never been on a bike or even owned one prior. Yup, I am a newbie with racing too!

A friend of mine (fellow cyclist) had suggested I give road cycling a try and with his persistent convincing, I finally agreed. We purchased a road bike and I have been hooked ever since (some might say I am addicted). It wasn’t easy at first. I started riding with a local group (Ian with Bike Sports in Aurora, ON) who helped get me started. I had no idea what I was doing and began riding with running shoes before going clipless (lol). It is funny to think back to where I started and the accomplishments I have made thus far.

Each year I push myself to become better and a stronger cyclist. There is nothing I won’t say “no” to. In 2017, my most memorable accomplishments were completing a 200km ride and almost 3000 metre elevation/climbing ride (Everesting Challenge ride with Jack.org). I can’t forget about the Donut ride and somehow, I managed to hang on without getting dropped (that was a first)!

I never thought I would find a sport that I would enjoy and love so much as I do with cycling. I am always looking forward to next ride, route, and getting out on the road with my friends.

I am that friend/teammate who will try my hardest no matter what! I bring to the table my humor, dedication, strength, and positive team player attitude. I am extremely fortunate and appreciative of the opportunity to be part of the High Gate Racing team. I can’t wait for our first ride together and thrilled about our journey together in 2018!

Let’s do this!

Karen Paterson

My name is Karen Paterson and I am excited to join the Highgate Racing Team for 2018.  I have always loved riding my bike, whether as my primary mode of transportation during my years at university or for fun with my kids as they were learning to ride, but, did not realize how much I loved to race until I did my first Try-a-Tri.  In 2016, in an effort to improve my cycling fitness, I joined my local cycling club, learned how to group ride and pushed my distances as the season progressed.  As an end of season goal, I participated in my first Centurion at Blue Mountain and, in the wind and the rain of that day, I realized that I found the sport that I love!  Last year I rode my first back to back century, completed a week of riding in Portugal with my local cycling club and rode in 3 races at the Blue Mountain Centurion.  These experiences have inspired me to train harder and learn how to race.  I look forward to experiencing my first OCA road race season with the wonderful group of women I have met at Highgate Racing!

Suzanne Hurding

As a competitive athlete in various disciplines over my life, I eventually realized that I needed a different sport that wasn’t so dangerous, so I thought I would take up cycling.I have always loved being on two wheels – so I thought that cycling would be a safe way to stay fit and enjoy being active.  Three years after being an active member at club rides, and two years of encouragement to race by other members, last year I decided to try racing out, and thought I would finally put my winter training to use.

After signing up in the Master A category, I would say my first season was a success. Multiple medals, a provincial champions jersey for TT, and the Ontario Cup for TT, not to mention winning a silver at the provincial road race, and 2nd place in the Ontario Cup for Road race.  But most importantly, I fell in love, and now I’m looking forward to having the privilege of riding for Highgate for this 2018 season. So many amazing quality women on one team, and I am honoured to be part of such a wonderful team!!

Jyl McGunigal

Hey there I’m Jyl.   I’ve been participating in the Ride for Heart since 2011 on my mountain bike until I bought my road bike at D’Ornellas before my first Olympic triathlon.  I got into road cycling through triathlon in 2017.  I could barely get clipped in on the first few rides. With the help of great ride leaders  I perceived and by the end of the season I became more confident  and was able to get clipped in. 

My next season started indoors on the bike most Saturdays and Sundays which helped me to become stronger.  I continued my triathlon journey and participated in Ironman 70.3 Muskoka, Toronto Triathlon Festival and Toronto Island.  I did my first 100 mile (century) ride with 18hrs of planning before hand.  Then I spent my birthday in Blue Mountain at the annual Centurion ride.  I participated on both days 80k (3rd in my age group)  and then 40 k (2nd in my age group).  

I’m hooked, I love cycling with teammates and find I get inspired by the great people I ride with. I’m looking forward to my my first race on Easter weekend.

Stacey-Dawn Carroll

My name is Stacey-Dawn Carroll and I am super excited for my first season of road racing with the Highgate Team in 2019. I have always had a passion for cycling and riding my bike fast. I have been club riding for the last 7 years and have raced cyclocross, triathlons & marathons in the past but have always had an itch to do something more and push myself to new limits. Inspired by my brother (Derek Carroll) that also races and Suzanne Hurding I have found myself reaching for new goals this year and am excited to see what 2019 has to bring while being surrounded by a strong pack of inspirational women!

© 2017 HighGate Cycling