Haworth rider Jack Carthy is poised to step up his bid for world glory after a stunning first year on the bike trial international circuit.
The 16-year-old finished on the podium in four out of the five UCI (Union Cyclisme International) World Cups, came third overall in the UCI classification for 2012 and came second in the Junior World Championships in Austria.
And having taken up the sport full time after leaving Oakbank School in the summer, Carthy wants to do even better next season.
He said: “I think I can win the Junior Championships, which are in South Africa next year. I should have won it this year in Saalfelden (Austria).
“Second in the world is a pretty good achievement. I went there to win though, so I was really disappointed at the same time. I’m 16 so I still have two years to do it.”
In bike trials, riders must show balance and skill on mountain bikes in tackling a series of obstacles, with the aim being not to touch their feet with the ground.
Carthy is already British number one at elite adult level, having retained the title he won for the first time last year. The teenager got his hands on the silverware in the final trial of the season last month at his home venue of Shipley Glen, having won all seven contests in the series.
The youngster has already been tipped as a future world champion by Belgian Kenny Belaey, who has held the title himself several times in a discipline which, although a minority sport in this country, has a higher profile on the continent.
Carthy said: “The World Cups abroad are held in big city centres in front of thousands of people under floodlights with DJs.
“The sport is a lot bigger abroad, especially in France and Spain.”
The Haworth ace is thrilled to be competing alongside the likes of Belaey and current world number one Gilles Coustellier. The pair were the only two riders who he failed to beat at some stage this year.
Carthy said: “These were the two riders who I have grown up watching on my computer at home. They are who I have looked up to and now I am competing against them.”
The former Oakbank pupil took up the sport after he was bought a bike at Haworth Festival when he was nine.
“It was only to play on the street with and, when I took part in my first competition, I fell off at every section,” he said. “It was at about the age of 11 that some of the top riders saw me and said I was actually quite good. I was shocked as I was just messing about but that’s when I started taking it more seriously.”
Having signed a deal this week to take Belaey on as his manager, Carthy is looking forward to developing his career. He hopes to give demonstrations in schools and travel abroad to practise.