I’d felt quite flat and fatigued upon my return to Europe after the Olympic Games. I’d had to take a few days off training on a couple of separate occasions as I’d picked up a sore throat and wasn’t feeling at my best. I was banking on still having some form in the legs for World Champs but without any recent races it was a little hard to tell where I was at.
Things started off brilliantly when won my qualifying race for the Short Track, the first time that Short Track had ever been held as a World Championship event. I felt brilliant during the race, nice and fresh and snappy and nailed my tactics and positioning. It gave me great confidence for the final 2 days later.
In the final I could immediately tell that my legs weren’t as good as I’d hoped. Not terrible, but lacking the freshness and punch that they had in the qualifying race. I fought hard to stay near the front but got caught up in some costly and energy sapping bar tangles with other riders and with 3 laps to go I had to close down a gap to the lead 3 or 4 riders after a rider in front lost the wheel.
This was the final nail in the coffin for me and the last 2 laps were just about riding home to the finish, my legs had completely blown up. It was a very disappointing race as I had high hopes of taking home a medal after my performance in the qualifying race, however my legs weren’t able to back up my mind’s lofty goals.
After the disappointment of the short track final, I had to quickly turn my attention to the XCO.
I had a messy start and got caught up in 2 pile ups on the start loop, crossing the line to begin the first full lap way back in 40th place already. I felt completely flat and empty and was not able to move forward at all, riding around in the 40’s for the whole race.
Halfway around the final lap my foot blew out of my pedal and I crushed my balls on the back of my seat. I had to take a breather on the side of the track for a bit before getting back on the bike and bringing it home for 48th.
My worst World Championship result ever. It was an incredibly disappointing way to end my World Championship campaign especially after it had begun so strongly, but I think the lack of training the last weeks and lingering fatigue had taken too much out of me. I’m sure if I had skipped the short track races, I would have had a strong XCO race, but I’d expected to recover from the short track races better than I did. You don’t know unless you try!