All roads lead to the World Championships for European gold-medallist Neah Evans.
The Team GB and Scotland cyclist won gold as part of the women’s team pursuit in Glasgow and turned her attention immediately to preparing for the Worlds in Poland in February.
A hectic year for the Cuminestown rider shows no signs of slowing down. Evans earned a silver and bronze medal from the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April and continued her success a little closer to home, winning GB’s first gold of the Europeans alongside Laura Kenny, fellow Scot Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker.
After a brief trip home to the north-east to visit her parents, Evans is now back in Manchester at the home of British Cycling to step up her training again.
Evans said: “I’m back into the routine now and training is ramping up greatly. It was great to get home for a couple of longer road rides; where my parents are it’s straight on to country roads. There’s no roundabouts or traffic and you can get straight into your training. I will get home again before the Worlds but there won’t be an opportunity for complete relaxation. I’ll have to be training.
“There may be the opportunity to do one or two races on the World Cup circuit but everything will be geared towards the World Championships.”
The Europeans was also the first qualification event for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and with that event two years away, thoughts of another Games are never too far away.
Evans added: “It’s not the over-riding focus but there’s a lot of elements of training that are building towards that. If you want to make substantial changes to your preparation, this is the time to do it.
“So much can happen or go wrong. You just need one silly crash and you’ll get an injury. But fingers crossed, I feel I’m in a good place.”
Racing in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and winning gold was a special moment for Evans, who was a student at the University of Glasgow and first learned to race on that same track. It felt like a home race for the 28-year-old as she embraced the “novelty” of competing on home soil.
She said: “I loved being back in Glasgow. It’s where I learned to ride and there were a lot of people in the crowd who I had rode with and had supported me through the years. Myself and Katie (Archibald) were in our comfort zone and it was a bit of a novelty, as you don’t often get that. I’m very biased but the atmosphere in Glasgow is second-to-none – everyone is behind it.
“The women’s endurance squad is very strong and it’s half the battle to be selected to be on the start-line. If you’re on the start-line in good shape then you expect to get a result, but it’s still nice when it all comes off.”