Watching Great Britain’s cyclists produce fantastic performances at the London Olympic Games was incredible and as a rider you can only take inspiration from it.
Having been named a reserve rider for the track it was of course disappointing not be competing because it was my dream to be going - but to see everyone perform to the standard that they did in Beijing with no one letting the team down gives me a great deal of motivation to compete in a Games myself one day.
At the present time though my focus has been firmly on the National Track Championships in Manchester, where we spend the vast amount of our time training with the Great Britain Cycling Team. In recent months my training has been interrupted as I suffered from appendicitis which took me out of action for a while as I recovered.
Since I’ve been back to full health though I’ve had a really good consistent block of training - it’s going really well at the moment and fingers crossed it’ll stay that way now.
As for the Nationals themselves, they signal the start of the track season from a competitive point of view and are a fantastic opportunity to get some racing in. Being a sprinter you don’t get too much racing through the year and it will be only my third race in 2012.
Nationals have always gone pretty well for me and I’ll be defending my individual sprint and keirin titles. I’m still in a big training phase at the moment but it’s the start of the season and I’m really looking forward to just seeing how I get on as I feel like I haven’t raced in so long - hopefully it will be a good start and a solid setup to the season.
I’m also competing in the team sprint with my sister Rachel. I think the whole family will be there on Saturday! My sister has been working hard but I haven’t had chance to train with her at all since she’s been preparing so it will be interesting getting up and seeing how we get on!
Only two weeks after the Nationals I will be representing Great Britain in Cali, Columbia at the first round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup along with Jess Varnish and Kian Emadi. There are probably more females in sprinting now than there has been in a long time and as such no shortage of competition for places so it’s important I do myself justice out there.
There’s Jess Varnish who is obviously a superb rider but we’re also going to be racing together in the team sprint. You’ve also got an abundant of up and coming youngsters with the likes of Victoria Williamson and Dannielle Khan, which is fantastic - it’s nice to have people chasing and that makes you want to train harder and it gives you more competition.
The world cup in Cali starts my international season and hopefully it can end with my first senior world championships in Minsk, Belarus in February. But first and foremost I need to keep myself healthy and injury free and take it step by step through the season. I’m going to be focusing on the Nationals this week and as soon as they are over I’ll focus on Cali and not look too far ahead.
Becky James, 20, is Welsh professional cyclist and rides for the Great Britain Cycling Team on the track as a sprinter.