Thursday 24 May – Best moment in my life so far. I was at work when my phone started ringing, when I took it out I saw it was a call from John Pett so answered it very quickly. As I answered I didn’t know the reason for his call and wasn’t expecting it to be a big call! Turns out it was a massive deal as he was telling me that I had been selected to race at the 2018 Para-Cycling World Championships!
I was so excited and wanted to tell everybody but I had to wait until the announcement was released by British Cycling before I could say anything which was the hardest thing to do as everybody that I talked to I wanted to tell.
Although I was so excited about going to worlds I couldn’t let it get the better of me as I still had the job of trying to defend my national title before hand.
The nationals road race turned out to be the most fun/strangest race I have ever done as it was a cat and mouse for an hour, effectively just a match sprint which came down to the final climb on the last lap which thankfully I just had the better sprint and was able to win my 2nd National title!
Big Thanks to Glasgow Cycle Team for sorting out the fresh new kit!
Finally the day came that I was able to pick up all the GB kit thatI would be taking out to worlds! Being taken into the velodrome store room and seeing boxes of loads of different kit was such a cool experience. I spent a while trying all of it on and getting the perfect sizing. I didn’t realise how long it takes to get a race suit on!
It was getting so real now! kit has been picked up and bikes have been serviced and are ready to go!
The night before the flight I didn’t really sleep that well as I was so excited and just wanted to get to Italy. It was an early start the next morning as well because we were at the velodrome by 7:00 where the rest of the team met us so we could then get a taxi to the airport.
When we got to Italy it was a relief as I had been waiting so long for this moment and it was finally here! It was the nicest place that I had ever been to as it was such a nice location and the views were amazing!
It was really nice to get out to Italy 2 weeks before racing but it also gave us all a chance to get acclimatised to the heat which was very much needed as it was around33 degrees on race days and was also very humid.
It was a strange feeling having so many staff helping me out, I felt bad and felt I needed to help the mechanics out whenever my bike was getting worked on, also it was amazing the fact that a chef travelled out with us and 3 times a day preparing some very tasty food! Definitely helped me focus on the racing aspect more than I would be able to usually.
TT Day – I was able to have a very relaxed morning as I wasn’t setting off until later in the afternoon. I am glad that it was finally race day as although it was nice to be out for a while I did just want to get racing now and the fact that my race was in the afternoon was annoying me as I spent the whole morning just waiting in my room until it was time to start getting ready.
Finally it was the moment I was waiting for, sitting in the start gate in GB kit just about to race in my first ever World Championships. such a good atmosphere swell as I set off through the streets of Maniago. 40 minutes later I crossed the finish line and went into 11th place which I was really happy about as I was aiming for a 40 minute race but just missing out on a top 10 but in an event that I am not as strong in I cant’t complain. I was really surprised as a few weeks prior to coming out to Italy I did a 12 minute power test and in my TT I was able to equal my power output done in that 12 minutes which I was not expecting at all!
Massive Thanks once again to Billy Bilsland Cycles for the loan of the TT wheels!
Road Race Day – Very different morning to the TT as I was waking up at 6 and racing much earlier which I preferred because it means that I am not sitting around the hotel all day getting bored. It was also the event I was more confident about doing and knew that I was going well.
Starting the race we got into the position that we wanted to and was able to get out onto the open road without any issues. The rest of the race we executed really well but were never able to get a break away. Despite this coming into the sprint Ben was still able to get into a really good position into the final corner and was looking good for a medal but just coming out of the turn his chain comes off and ends up finishing in 11th and I came through to finish in 8th which equals my best result!
It was such a good experience for me to have at such a young age getting to race at a world championships and getting to spend time with the full time riders was amazing. Now that I have experienced what it is like to be a part of the team it has now made me more hungry than ever to become a full time rider. Bg thanks to all the staff and riders who helped me out during the trip and also a big thanks to the coach Andy Pink who got me to this point in my riding and hoping now continue this form into the track season.
Also want to say a massive thank you to moray estates for the financial support that they have been providing