After competing in Besançon, France for rounds three and four of the European Series I decided I needed to go through a solid months training block in order for me to give myself a better chance of making a final which meant that I missed rounds five and six in Switzerland.
Although still in the rehab phase - the training block went to plan and I came out stronger. The work wasn't just done in the gym but on my bike too, riding bigger gearings to mainly strengthen up my starts (10-20) as essentially that's the most important part of the race. A lot of that came down to technique, so I went up to Manchester to work on that. It was also the first time I rode the Olympic (Supercross) start hill in just over a year so I was fairly nervous, but all went well.
So the week before I set off to Holland was rounds four and five of the National Series in Preston. It was set to be a wet weekend so wasn't looking forward to it if I'm honest. Nevertheless I enjoyed the weekend as I just wanted to go out and get some good training laps in me to help improve race fitness.
Due to coming un-clipped out of my pedals my day ended in the semi-finals on day one. But I managed to finish fifth on day two, which for me isn't the greatest result, but it showed what I need to work on.
The following week I was off to Holland for rounds seven and eight of the European Series with my little brother and my mum. My target for the weekend was to reach the final as I believe I am more than capable of doing so. Practice went well on Friday evening and was feeling good for the race ahead!
Straight away in my heats I noticed my starts were a lot stronger so had already had something positive to take away with me. I qualified through to the quarter-finals where luck wasn't on my side and after being in second I was pushed wide on the corner and went from second to sixth in one corner meaning that was my day over. I was pretty disappointed with that outcome as I now feel I am more than capable of making finals. But I quickly put it behind me as I had another chance the next day.
But on day two nothing went to plan and although I was keeping very calm about it, nothing was getting any better. In my practice I couldn't get the first jump right like I was on day one, which probably the majority of all the competitors were struggling to get right at some point.
Having to change my plan during racing isn't ideal and it threw me off in each heat. I took a crash in my first heat which put a lot of pressure on me to perform well in the next, otherwise my day would end in the heats. And so it did after third and fourth-place finishes.
I was disappointed with the results over the weekend and I just wanted to pull out the positives which were very obvious for me; fitness, my starts and confidence. However, it was also very clear that I need more race experience against the best in the world in my age group.
So moving on and I'm already starting my preparation for the next Euro rounds in Birmingham. So I'll be having a training camp there and a racing in a regional just to give myself a better of making final.