Helen Reports from the Podium

It’s hard to know where to start when I sum up the World Championships. It was a huge day for me, massive. It’s still actually sinking in as although I believed a medal was mine to loose, to actually do it is something else. It’s not a dream come true. I mean, I don’t dream about 3rd, or 2nd for that matter, but I have worked very hard to get to the business end of a World Championships since 2006. I ride in the Vos era, she is a living, riding, legend. She’s the best hobby rider the sport has ever seen, Male or Female in my opinion. I am in the constant pursuit of increased performance to close the gap to her and put myself in a position to take advantage of any error she makes. If I keep pushing myself, she has to keep pushing herself. That’s how this sport is going to get better.

Saying that its not a dream come true doesn’t mean I not over the moon. I really am. I planned this performance 364 days before it. It took spreadsheets, tens of thousands of mile of travel, lots of people, a huge amount of pain, 17 buckets full of tubular glue, sacrifice and a lot of smiles and laugh’s. I pretty much enjoyed the ride, and when I look back at my list of goals for the season, I have 4 ticks, in 4 boxes. Even Bradley Wiggo Wiggins would be proud of that.

On paper, this season had potential to be a good one for me. Good venues, good breaks, good support meant I hit the season full of confidence. I’ve not had a world champs without “bad luck” for many years. It’s frustrating, but I strongly believe you make your own luck. I got sick, I got injured, I had great form at venues that don’t suits me. They are all my errors. This season I got it right, avoided the bad things, surrounded myself with good things, and I guess I have the medal to prove it.

So my dream is to be World Champion, I just got close, really close. I plan to get closer. I won’t give up trying; that doesn’t mean I will ever get there, but that is my dream and it keeps me fighting and enjoying the hard times.

So the race is a bit of blur. I had a plan to get the hell out of the way of trouble in lap one. I didn’t start too well, but recovered in the first off road section to lead. I pushed the font of the race for the first half lap, putting some time in against the riders in 6th and 7th. I bobbled, lost the lead pair, and blew a little. From there it was recovery time. It took me half a lap to get my breathe back and I found myself in the battle for 3rd with Cant and Compton. Sadly Katie was having a frustrating day. She is a great champion and it was a shame to see he finishing eventually 9th. She will be back, stronger, fitter and ready for some rainbow stripes again next year. The battle between me and Cant went right to the last lap. I attacked, she slipped, I went harder, got the gap and that was it. I wasn’t letting that position go.

The odd side of such a significant result is the formalities after. First the press conference, then anti-doping control. Having been the press conference, I was last-ish into anti-doping. Nobody could pee, got out at 6:30pm, at which point it was dark, everyone had gone home, leaving not much celebration. However it was great to have some time with my super helpers Patrick and Monique, Thomas, and some sponsors who go above and beyond (Simona and Morgan from Challenge tires).

So that was it. I got a medal. I’m proud. Today I started working on my plan for the 2015 World Championships. I also went biking with friends with a massive smile on my face. Life is pretty awesome.

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