With the Euros done and dusted it was time to refocus on the World Championships which came around a lot sooner and was a lot closer to home than in 2015.
It was held in Aviles, Spain at an impressive venue that seemed built for the occasion; an incredible collection of buildings designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. This sport has taken me to a lot of destinations that I otherwise would never have visited and this is one that I am definitely thankful for.
The race was very physical and tactical. At one point there were even some tactical shoves which meant I had to take a far wider line than intended. The run along the river was relatively flat and fast with the Spanish athletes dominating straight from the start. I got into a good position going into the bike section, which was very important as this was the first draft legal championship race. Once the peloton came together, I pulled my weight and was the first to inject some pace and attack off the front. This earned the respect of my Spanish competitors; thumbs up and a few pats on my back acknowledged my effort once I peeled off. Despite a few attacks off the front, a group of 20 of us or so ended up working together and came into transition 2 together. As we rounded the final corner, one of the other British competitors lost concentration for a split second and went careering into one of the barriers. It was one of the most dramatic crashes I’ve experienced; for once I was glad to be getting off the bike.
On to the final run and the first 700m was hell; I thought it was going to be a bad day as I started losing places. Then I managed to find another gear and started passing people who had passed me. The longer we ran the stronger I felt. With a final burst of effort I managed to pass three more Spaniards in the final sprint for the line. Finally finished.
No podium but another top 10 finish. I’ll have to settle for European Champion and top 10 in the world for 2016…