The event is so different to any other race, the atmosphere, pressure, everything just has a different feel to it. I came in to this year though feeling different, no pressure and just a lot more relaxed than previous years. I’ve set myself some big challenges this year and World Champs was one of them but with my focus on downhill this year it was like I hadn’t even had time to think about the event until I was actually here.
With the first couple of practice sessions over I was feeling the best I ever had done on my 4X bike, just having fun riding rather than constantly thinking about the end result. Coming in to qualifying I felt pretty confident but had some bad luck during my run burping the air out the side wall of my tire in the 2nd corner meaning I couldn’t jump any of the jumps but still ending my run in 3rd position.
Coming in to finials I was feeling surprising calm, I was jumping around with excitement all day just at the thought of riding so when I finally got on my bike I was feeling good. My first 2 heats of racing went surprising smooth, I managed to make my way into the finals and then boom that when the nerves hit me like a ton of bricks! I knew this was my last chance at this title and it meant so much to me. As the gate dropped I was neck and neck against Anneke down the first straight, as we came out the corner Anneke was out in front, trying to keep as cam as possible I followed down behind trying to build up some momentum to make a move, as we came out the first pro line, I start to build up more and more speed and was approaching the last pro line jump towards the finish, I hadn’t tried this in practice and really had no intention of jumping it at all but I knew it was attempt it or throw that rainbow jersey away. Before I had time to think about it I was half way through mid air, as I came in to land I squeezed just in front of Anneke and nearly exploded with excitement at the thought of becoming World Champ. I tried to keep calm until the finish line but from here on it was just a blur! I am World Champion! I cant explain just how good it feels but I need to thank everyone who has helped me get here and especially GB team manager Will Longden. World Champ, Wahoo!!