As its now the end of the 2014/15 season i thought it would be a good idea to give you a bit of a season review, looking back over the last 8 months.
What a season its been! I must admit it was a bit of a slow start (never good in my sport). The Glasgow Commonwealth Games was an amazing learning curve and i learnt a lot. However to come away with a 5th place was very disappointing.
Since Glasgow my form really seemed to come along. I had good results in Germany, (the heartland for my sport) picking up my first win and a podium after a few years of little success.
This acted as a bit of a springboard onto what was an amazing British Championships. I became the first male sprinter ever to win all four events in a single championship. Most of all it felt great to have my sprint title back having lost it the year before.
Following nationals it was off to the European Championships on the Caribbean Island of Guadeloupe (France). The long flight was definitely worth the trip when i picked up my first European title winning the 1km Time Trial! Targeting the Kilo was a new approach for this year. Many current and previous world champions including Chris Hoy have used the Kilo as a development pathway for success in the other events. Its a savage event that treads the line between sprint and endurance. Having success in this event is a great step in the right direction in the long term.
Less than an month and it was time for another hop across the Atlantic, this time to Mexico. Guadalajara was the host for the first of the World Cup series. This time the stakes were higher than ever. I had been given a chance to ride the team sprint with the ‘A team’ consisting of Olympic Champions Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny. I was keen to impress and try to cement my new spot in the team as its the best way to get to the Rio Olympics. It couldn't have gone better, we won the Team Sprint!
From this point on my form began to dip as illness, fatigue began to play their part. This came to a head when i had to withdraw from the London World Cup. From then on with my new coach I decided to focus all my efforts on the World Championships in a few months time.
It was fantastic to finally have my World Championship debut. I have been fighting to gain selection for the last few years and i was very thankful to finally be given a chance. However the length of the season had started to take its toll. I was lighter than i had been in three years and i felt burnt out. I gave the best performance I could but it was only good enough for 8th in the team sprint and the Kilo. Hopefully the worlds was just a bit of a speed bump. I had beaten many of my competitors in the Kilo at the Europeans and as a team we had beaten all of the other teams at the first World Cup.
As the season drew to a close we met our ultimate target of maintaining top 5 in Europe in the Team Sprint. This meaning we are on track to qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
Overall its been a break through season. Over the next few months with my coach we are looking forward to continued success and hopefully a better plan to see that it lasts longer!
After taking a short break i’m now back to full training having just completed a warm weather camp in Valencia a few days ago. Don’t be too jealous, it rained the whole time! I’m now based in Manchester for a month or so with the prospect of some early season racing coming up in Adelaide.