Great Britain’s Liam Phillips says his superb form in 2013 has given him the belief that he can continue to challenge for honours on the world stage.
Phillips will race as world champion at opening round of the 2014 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup this weekend in Manchester.
Victory at the corresponding event last year in the National Cycling Centre was followed by Britain’s first elite men’s world title in 12 years when Phillips won in Auckland last July.
The 25-year-old, who had a short spell on the track in 2011, said seeing his efforts rewarded was a major boost.
“It's been quite a good 12 months and really things kicked off here,” said Phillips, who finished third overall in last year’s world cup series.
“I raced really well and was able to win my first world cup and win the time-trial and more than anything was able to deal with that pressure and expectation that was put on by the crowd and some of the other riders to some extent.
“Then I went to the world championships and was able to be successful.”
Despite the triumphs, Phillips understands that expectations will be different at this year’s event.
Former world champion Joris Daudet, time-trial world champion Connor Fields and Olympic bronze medallist Carlos Oquendo will all be racing on 18-19 April.
“It's very different coming into this season from last season,” said Phillips. “This year it is different in the sense that I'm wearing that rainbow jersey.
Phillips talks to coaching staff in the gym
“I work extremely hard away from the track and I know I'm able to compete at this level. For me it's about going out and doing my thing and enjoying the occasion.
"How many times do you get to perform in front of a home crowd at a world cup race? I'm just looking forward to it.
“For me it's just a massive honour to race in front of a home crowd with the best athletes coming to race here in Manchester on a track that I train at every day.”
Phillips is one of five athletes in the Great Britain team - with Tre Whyte, Kyle Evans, Charlotte Green and Abbie Taylor.
An injury-free winter has provided the perfect block of preparation ahead of the first major international event of the season.
“My training over the winter has been amazing,” Phillips said. “I've really enjoyed what I've done and I’ve continued to work with a really great group of people, other athletes as well within our squad.
“Kyle (Evans) has really stepped up and he's been pushing me in training regularly and that’s been something I haven't had up until now so that's been really good.
“Away from the track I've been injury free, done a lot of good gym work with Martin Evans (strength and conditioning coach) and Grant (White, Olympic BMX coach) has been steering the ship no different to how he has done for the last few years. I know I keep going back to it but it has been enjoyable and continues to be enjoyable.
“It's been a great winter and I'm looking forward to putting what I've worked on into work at the first world cup.”