2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships coverage | Get into track cycling | Becky James bio |
Published: 21 February 2014
Written by: Scott Hobro
Video: Simon Powers
Double world champion Becky James is ready to defend her titles in Colombia and believes she can take lessons from her 2013 triumphs.
James won sprint and keirin rainbow jerseys as she made British cycling history with a four-medal haul at last year’s UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Minsk.
The 22-year-old, who also won bronze medals in the 500m time-trial and team sprint in Belarus, accepts being a current champion will affect her approach but is keen to employ the state of mind that worked so well in 2013.
“Last year at the world champs in Minsk I found I was really relaxed,” James, from Abergavenny, said.
“I just had a mindset that I didn't have any expectations whatsoever and I just found I got so much more out of myself because I didn't expect too much.
“I know it's different being a world champion but I think I need to go into this race with that sort of mindset too because I think I'll definitely get the best out of myself.”
James has taken on an altered programme this season, missing the 2013 British Cycling National Track Championships to travel to Japan’s keirin season last September.
She then competed at the opening two rounds of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Manchester and Aguascalientes, picking up five medals – three silver and two bronze.
“The world cups have gone pretty well this season, I feel like I've had a lot more confidence riding in the keirin,” said James, who defeated Germany’s Kristina Vogel to win her sprint crown.
“I have taken that from the races I did in Japan I think, it gave me so much more confidence in each race and just taking control of the races has definitely helped and I've learnt I have got to be proactive.
“Everything has gone fairly well in the world cup, it's been there or thereabouts and just hopefully that last bit of form will come through at the worlds in Cali.”
A double world champion at junior level on the track, James also revealed that missing the 2012 London Olympics allowed her an extended preparation time for the 2013 championships.
She has also spent more time in the gym ahead of this year’s championships in Cali, which she hopes will pay off when action begins on Wednesday 26 February at the Alcides Nieto Patino Velodrome.
“Going into the world championships this time is a little bit of a different approach from last time, because from missing out on the Olympics I kind of had the perfect run I could have possibly asked for from August all the way through to the world champs.
“I just had a really, really good training programme, week in, week out and a training camp in Perth. Everything slotted together nicely into the worlds in Minsk.
“Last year I struggled with a little bit of a bad back so in the gym I wasn’t doing so much heavy work, just consistent training but I was getting more benefit on the track because I didn’t have any gym soreness.
“This year I have been working really hard in the gym and feeling the fatigue on the track so I'm hoping now I've come out of the gym I'm going to get that rebound of going a little bit faster on the track in the next week or so, we'll see.”