As we gear up for the new season, we sat down with Michael Woods to reflect on his 2023 campaign, what’s next in 2024, and why having a ‘retirement contract’ is a privilege as much as it is a little bit scary.
Always an engaging interviewee, Woodsy was in good spirits as he prepares to start his fourth year with IPT. Looking back fondly on his season, one which included a memorable Tour de France stage victory atop Puy de Dôme, he says: “It was a great season for me. Not my best from a consistency perspective – I think 2021 was my best season from start to finish – but the best result of my career was this season, at the Tour de France, and it’s a result I am really proud of.”
The Canadian, who turned 37 in October, also detailed how he’ll be a part of IPT until the time comes for him to end his professional career.
“I’m really lucky to have Sylvan Adams in my corner. He is one of the main reasons why I am a pro cyclist,” he says. “Him, along with Paulo Saldanha, my coach and also Head of Performance for the team.
“Sylvan has backed me since 2013 and just played a massive role in my career. Just over a year ago we sat down to talk about extending and we basically just made a deal that I’m going to retire with this team. I’m going to retire when there’s no more left to give.
“I don’t want to be racing my bike if I’m not performing at the highest level. I want to be excited about going to races and I am right now. So, we’re going to extend until I’m ready to be done.
“It’s an amazing privilege to have that. To know that I’m going to kind of finish under my own power. Having been in the sport for eight years now, there’s a huge turnover in riders. And you realize how most riders don’t have that luxury.
“I realize how lucky I am, how lucky I am to have that support from Sylvan, that support from the team. But that being said, yeah, it’s really nice but it’s also a bit scary. Normally, a nice incentive is actually being on a contract year and needing to re-sign and being hungry. It almost could be a bit of a concern, like just getting complacent, because I don’t have to go after that next contract.
“But that’s the reason why I made this deal with Sylvan. That if I’m not hungry, I’m not going to keep on going. And I’m still hungry so, I want to take on this year.”
Watch the full interview with Woodsy on YouTube now.