British Cycling Olympic Academy athletes Beth Crumpton and Alice Barnes will return to cross-country competition at the under-23 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup on Sunday.
Both enjoyed their first games-time experience in Glasgow in an elite field, but will return to the under-23 ranks for the world cup as the run-in to September’s world championships begins in earnest.
Crumpton is hoping to regain her promising early season form, having recovered from two mid-season crashes.
The British under-23 champion first sustained a haematoma at the third round of the world cup in Nove Mesto and once recovered, crashed again at the European championships – incidents which have disrupted training.
“I missed a lot of training and also some races so I was really struggling at the beginning of June” Crumpton admitted.
“But coming back to the Commonwealth Games, obviously I’ve picked up a lot more form. So hopefully now I’m going to have some better form for the world cup and I really want to try and get a good ride and get some good points and get a good result.
“Moving forward to a world cup hopefully is hopefully going to boost me to get a better result in that top ten, maybe break that top five – which is what I really want to do this year, get into that top five – and hopefully my form is coming in better toward the end of the season especially with these world cups it’s going to be a good field to have a good race in.”
In contrast to Crumpton, Barnes has spent her season to date finding her level as a first year under-23. Having broken her collarbone in February, each race has seen constant progression, culminating in a fifth place finish in Glasgow.
Eager to continue her development, Barnes believes there is more to come.
“After all our training it’s really paid off so hopefully I can take that into the world cup in America. I’m really looking forward to getting back on the world cup scene because I’ve gained a lot of technical skill and my physical has come on a lot as well.
“Working with the Academy in my first year under-23 has been great. I’ve gained so much experience in the races and working with Phil closely, it’s been a lot better for me.”
Barnes will find out just how much improvement has been made on Sunday, when all of the world cup cross-country races are held in Windham, America.