Olympic champion Beth Shriever knows all eyes will be on her when she seeks to defend her crown at the UCI BMX Racing World Championships this weekend.
Earlier this month Shriever completed something of a set by adding the European title to the Olympic crown she won in Tokyo last summer and the world title that followed just a couple of weeks later.
Now as she heads into this weekend’s World Championships in Nantes, France, this weekend Shriever wants to think of it not as defending one title but going out with the opportunity to win another. After a year in the rainbow jersey, however, it is not that easy.
“It would be nice to get another jersey and carry on riding in it,” Shriever told the PA news agency. “You kind of get used to the colours. My coach said he doesn’t want to see me in any other jersey.
“Hopefully I’m going in with the same mentality (as last year). We don’t race in the rainbow jersey there, I’ll be back in Great Britain colours so I’m excited to get that jersey back on and then it’s a fresh start.
“Every race is like starting again for me. If I get it again I’ll be over the moon. The main goal is to get into the final. Get into the last eight, and then it’s all guns blazing.”
Shriever was quick to point out that the field at the European Championships in Belgium had been somewhat depleted, with a number of top riders choosing instead to attend a training camp in Nantes, where a new track has been installed ahead of the Worlds.
The east Londoner admitted she had not known about the camp before setting her sights on the Euros, but insisted she would have chosen to race rather than train either way – with the Euros bringing success both for her and team-mate Kye Whyte who will also be racing in Nantes.
“I was always focused on the Euros,” she said. “I don’t think we even knew about the camp but I think I would have chosen the Europeans over that anyway. We did it and both me and Kye now have Euro jerseys.
“You get more laps in, just being in that racing environment at a high level, high pressure. I’d say personally that’s good preparations for the Worlds. Obviously the fastest girls weren’t there but I think it was really good for me.
“There was a bit of pressure on me because I was the one to watch and I should be taking the title. I had to manage that and now I’m going into the worlds with another jersey behind me and I’m excited to get going.”
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