Liam Phillips says the disappointment of last year’s UCI BMX World Championships “cut pretty deep” as he prepares to bid for a second rainbow jersey in Belgium.
Phillips became Britain’s first elite men’s world champion for 12 years in 2013 but crashed out as defending champion in Rotterdam 12 months ago after a collision with France’s Damien Godet.
The Great Britain Cycling Team rider will attempt to win a second world crown in Zolder, Belgium this week on an outdoor track.
“Last year's disappointment in Rotterdam still cuts pretty deep,” Phillips said.
“It's not how I envisaged trying to go out and retain my rainbow jersey and that's something I've learnt to deal with.
“I think I've learnt in this build-up to a world championships that it doesn't matter how good your form is going into a major competition, certainly when you are racing BMX anything can happen.”
Phillips has since bounced back, winning the overall UCI BMX Supercross World Cup title last year - a series contested over five races - and has carried his strong form into 2015.
He completed a three-peat of wins at the Manchester UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in April and won twice at the King of Prague meeting in June.
“I went to the world championships in Auckland in great form and was successful and then I went to Rotterdam in arguably as good form if not better and my two results could not have been further apart.
“But for me now I have had a great preparation leading up to this race and I have learnt that you can do all of your prep and go and try and execute the best race you can and whatever happens, happens.”
A second world title would put Phillips on par with double Olympic champion Maris Strombergs and Australian Sam Willoughby who will both be present in Belgium.
The late Kyle Bennett, who won a remarkable three titles, and France’s Thomas Allier have also achieved the feat.
“To win one rainbow jersey, that was a dream come true and I've had a taste for it now,” Phillips said.
“I know what it feels like to wear that jersey for 12 months and to wear it again would certainly be special. Where that puts me amongst the best athletes in the sport I have no idea, that's for everybody else to talk about.
“I am certainly excited about the race and I honestly feel like I am in great form and I can go and execute my race and see what happens.”
The elite men’s time trials take place on Friday with racing on Saturday.
How to follow the racing
- Live reporting on the British Cycling website from 1pm on Friday 24 July for the time trials and from 11.30am on Saturday 25 July for racing.
- Live on BBC Sport website and connected TV on Saturday 25 July from 4.30pm-7pm.