Cumberland mountain bike racer Carter Woods has been named junior male athlete of the year by Sport BC.
The organization celebrated the province’s top amateur athletes from the 2019 season at its 54th annual awards, virtually, on Thursday, March 25.
The 19-year-old Woods is a two-time national junior champion. Last year, he was named to Cycling Canada’s NextGen mountain bike program for the 2021 season.
He is preparing to leave for Europe to compete in the World Cup circuit for the next five or six months. He and other members of the Norco Factory Team will race a couple of events in Germany before the circuit winds its way through Austria, France, Switzerland and other countries.
When not racing under sponsor Norco, Woods competes at world championships as a member of Canada’s national team.
“It’s gone really well,” he said. “Signing with Norco Factory Team was a really big deal. It’s sort of turned from a hobby to a job. Being able to travel around the world, it’s a pretty fun thing to do.”
He signed last year with Norco, but COVID delayed World Cup racing until September. The delay seems to have paid off as his first World Cup event as an Under-23 racer was a memorable one.
“I got a top 10. I was not ready for that as a first-year U23.”
The event was held in the Czech Republic, which Woods said is “probably the craziest circuit” in terms of spectators, under normal circumstances. However, during the pandemic, police are stationed throughout the forest to keep the public at bay.
“I’m still new to everything, so I’m just taking it in,” Woods said. “Coming off a top 10 last year, I’m pretty excited to see what I can throw down this year.”
While two of his Norco teammates prepare for the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo, Woods has his eye on the 2024 Games in Paris.