Carter Woods has been racking up the wins in mountain bike racing and in cyclocross.
The 16-year-old from Cumberland has won numerous provincial and national titles, Enduro events and races in the Canada Cup series. The latter is designed to provide competitive opportunities to help the next generation of cyclists transition to an international level.
This month, Woods won two races at the Canadian Cyclocross Championships in Peterborough, Ont. In summer, he won the Canadian XCO MTB Championships in Canmore, Alta. in the junior category. In September, he competed at the world championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
“It was OK. I got pretty sick, but it was a really good experience. Super good racing,” said Woods, a distance education student at Vanier Secondary.
For mountain biking, he races with the Rocky Mountain Factory team. For cyclocross, he’s with Naked Factory Racing — an elite Island-based team. One of his teammates is Comox-based Emily Johnston, another rider with numerous podium finishes.
In cyclocross, racers navigate a circuit on a road bike with grippy, or knobby, tires.
“There’s obstacles,” Woods said. “You have to get off your bike and run up a staircase, or run up a mud hill or something.”
November’s been a busy month. Before competing in Peterborough, Woods won a bronze medal in juniors at the Pan-American Cyclocross Championships in Midland, Ont.
“I didn’t plan on racing much cyclocross after worlds. Mountain biking’s my main focus. I was last person called up, so you’re behind everyone. It’s pretty hard to pass everyone on that skinny little course.”
He’s also been moving up the ranks of Cross on the Rock, a cyclocross series on Vancouver Island.
“That’s a super fun series. I think it’s the biggest in North America, I want to say. Some races we have 450 people out. It’s crazy.”
Woods had considered racing in Europe during the Christmas season, but he’s opted for a winter in California for some warm weather training.
In January, he plans to take one course at Isfeld Secondary as he finishes high school, then he’s off to Victoria for college or university.
Eventually, Woods hopes to represent Canada at an Olympic Games.
“That’s definitely what we’re looking towards, for sure.”