British Cycling Olympic Academy Programme athlete Beth Crumpton is ready to put a string of crashes behind her, as she searches for the perfect performance to end her season.
Speaking before the final round of the cross-country mountain bike world cup, which takes place in Meribel on August 24, the under-23 British champion summarised a frustrating season on and off the bike.
An extended winter break from international competition meant Crumpton did not race until May at Nove Mesto but at her first world cup of 2014 the longer training period seemed to be paying off, as she was in the leading group.
However, a crash ended Crumpton’s race on lap one and the injuries sustained ruled her out of the next world cup in Albstadt. Missed training time and another accident at the European championships, compounded by a short four month season meant Crumpton only had three more international races at which to salvage a result.
In August Crumpton returned to the world cup with good form, but a moment she described as “just another crash added to my list” was the continuation of a pattern.
“It’s disappointing and I am irritated by it because I had good form going into Windham and I knew I could do well” said Crumpton, when asked about the outcome of the race.
“I have been struggling mentally with it and it has been something that’s been on my mind a lot, but it’s been something I’ve had to come to terms with and it’s something I’ve had to deal with and get rid of that mental pressure on myself.
“I’ve tried to come into my races planning differently, planning to focus on certain things in the race now instead of worrying about crashing.”
Fortunately, the chance to put such a plan into action came quickly, as Crumpton rode to victory at the final round of the British Cycling MTB Cross-Country Series and it’s a performance she hopes to carry over to the international stage.
“Meribel is another chance for me to get it right. I’ve still got that good form in me, so I can try to get a really good race in, have no problems and hopefully that can happen.
“Obviously I really need to get a good race in to show what I can do, because this year I haven’t shown that.
“In a way I’m a bit gutted this year is ending, it’s come to an end so quickly because I haven’t had the best of luck. I’m going into the race with a bit of a different mindset, I’m trying to go in there with less pressure on myself, to enjoy it and at the same time, get a good ride in and execute it the way I want to do it.
“When I relax a bit more that’s how I ride better so hopefully if I relax a lot more going into the next couple of races the same will happen then.”