For the last three years, racing a World Cup has been my goal. An obsessive goal that I had to fulfill. I’m here in England, and I will be lining up for my first World Cup in Germany next weekend.
It started as a frustration: I was sat on the trainer doing intervals, and I was watching a repeat of the Val Di Sole World Cup. It suddenly clicked that everyone in that race – even the really slow people at the back – were faster than me. It didn’t seem right. If I was going to spend most of my disposable income and all of my spare time riding bikes, I at least needed to race the best people in the world.
So I worked hard and got 20 UCI points, bought a plane ticket to London, registered for two rounds of the World Cup and one British series race. And I’m really excited!
This goal wasn’t exactly straight forward. 2014 was the first year I really chased the UCI sanctioned races. I raced that 2014 season with the goal of getting the 20 UCI points I needed to start a World Cup. How many points did I finish the season with? Zero. None. Not even one. It was hard to come away from the first season of racing the national events without anything to show for it. It stung. So I trained a little bit harder. I raced a lot of cyclocross. I worked on my weaknesses. Unlike previous years, I did my core exercises. I got help with my bike fit. I set up my suspension properly.
This year has been a roller coaster – I went to Greece early in the year to gain some racing experience and get some more points. I came away with both, but also a bad injury from my heaviest ever crash. It’s at this point that I really valued the sponsors that look after me during the season. Boulder Cycle Sport took in my broken bike and popped a shiny new Scott Spark out the other end. YogaGlo was invaluable in keeping my body supple when I couldn’t push on the pedals, and I drank so much Carborocket Recovery drink that I thought I might start smelling like chocolate and coconut.
The plan for the next three weeks: I’m currently staying at my Brother’s house in Loughborough before racing the British Series Round in Dalby this Sunday. Then we’re driving across to Germany to race the Albstadt World Cup. Then on to stay with relatives in Geneva for a few days, before heading to the Vosges mountains for the La Bresse World Cup in France.
Stay tuned here for all the updates!