UCI Mountain Bike World Championships 2011
Manon Carpenter: "I Felt The Pressure"
Manon Carpenter - the new junior Mountain Bike Downhill World Champion has admitted she felt the pressure was on to win her first title - and there were moments in the race where she felt it was over.
Speaking to British Cycling after her winning run, Carpenter spoke of a ride involving three crashes and the moments she thought it was all over.
"After my first crash, I thought it would be ok, but then my second crash I had a panic, I just got back up and rode as fast as I could. Then I crashed again coming into the last woods - I did kind of think it was all over, I guess I knew everyone else was going to find it hard as well but with three crashes I was pushing it."
Having already won the junior World Cup Series Carpenter was the big favourite for the win, but that only added to the pressure - alongside missing the World Championships in 2010 due to injury and Champery being her final chance to grab the junior title.
"Last year the Worlds was the worst weekend of my life, but to come back this year and win feels wicked. I was feeling the pressure, not from everyone else, just from myself. I knew I only had one chance left to be junior World Champion and I really didn't want to mess it up - the whole year I was aware that I couldn't get injured, I feel relieved to be honest. I'd have been really annoyed with myself if I'd messed it up."
"I definately felt the pressure. Because I was the only junior who was racing all the World Cups, I only knew a few of the starters - I didn't know how fast anyone was. Everyone had confidence in me to win, but I knew anything could happen"
"Going fastest in timed training was good, but I had a crash in that run as well and crashed in the same place the day after in practise. I got all tangled up in the catch netting and that reminded me if you get stuck in that it's race over. I definately raced nervous"
Speaking of the future, Carpenter already looks forward to a full schedule of elite racing in 2012, having just finished school - but first has a chance to show off her rainbow jersey on home soil.
"The last junior to win the title was Rachel Atherton, so I'd love to follow in her wake, I've just finished school so I'm taking a year out to concentrate on my racing in 2012, I'll be riding for Madison Saracen still - but right now I'm driving home before heading to the final round of the British Downhill Series, where I guess I'll be racing in the rainbow jersey!"