Kenta against the World!

Tuesday, 25th September, 2012

World Championships 2012

So, after finishing the last World Cup round at Val d’Isere in France with an injury, I had to get about quickly trying to fix myself up. It turned out that I’d only strained my hamstring, so I didn’t think it would be long before I was back on a bike.

After a week and a half of physio I was back on the road bike, trying to get my base form back. After coming off two top 10 results in World Cups and a win in the  Under-23 National title trace, I was keen to make the most of my form. It was great having such high end at this point in the season riding in the GB national champions jersey. I was determined not to let the form slip, but I knew it was going - my head was struggling a bit and I was almost wanting the end of season to come. It’s been such a long hard year, but I knew I just needed to focus one more time, so I tried my best, doing some big rides.


My World championships saga began with a trip to France for a training camp and then a Swiss Cup XC race where I struggled, as it was such a fast course and I didn’t have the speed I thought I would. Hopefully, I thought, I would come around and be feeling better after a few more sessions to sharpen up for the Worlds.

Sadly, it wasn’t to be. When the GB team got to the World’s course for training I discovered it had a lot of climbing and I felt a bit heavy legged and just not my normal self. I was finding it hard to try find the flow with my bike on the track and as it was a World title race, it played on my head a lot!


Race day came and I knew all I could do was my best but even that was a disaster! I couldn’t get power down or any speed and just struggled on my bike even on the technical stuff I usually love! It was a bad day in the saddle at an important race, 59th place…


After that day I didn’t want to ride my bike but I had one more discipline left, the XC Eliminator. As it was the first time it was featured in the World champs I didn’t know what to expect but I didn’t expect much, with all other races done and dusted and seeing people on beers having a good time, I went to lie in bed, gutted not to be joining them and trying to find the willpower to go out and try again.


The next day I rode the Eliminator course, two laps of a short urban circuit in the middle of town with steps. It was ace! I enjoyed jumping off steps and just playing around. All I had to do was to get through qualis so I could then go on to try get through the rounds. I set off hard from the gun - maybe a bit too hard! I suffered big time on the second lap but I came in third place! It was way higher than I expected, less than a second down on first, this is when I got all the confidence and my normal self back. All I had to do was believe in myself.

I set off first round cruising, not really getting into the red and going through to the quarter finals until I lost it all. Going into the second lap I slipped out and hit the floor, that’s when I knew the first chance of getting a world championship medal went out the window! Gutted wasn’t even the word. I guess I know what I can do and maybe one year I’ll be able to do it!

 So that’s me for the 2012 season. Although before I sign off, I have to say a few thanks, firstly to Braveheart Fund that is always a massive, massive help and the only way I can repay is using my legs and get results. I also want to thank my coach Phil, as every year he has faith in me and knows what I need to be doing. A big thanks too to Boardman Bikes for the support and great, reliable bikes. To the Riddles and the rest of the boys in Bikes of Inverness, Kenny Denoon at Kennys VW/Audi specialist and finally friends and family for putting up with me when I’m in a grump!


And also thanks to everyone who read the post!


Kenta G


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