Aberdeenshire rider Neah Evans walks away from the World Championship pleased with her efforts after picking up two bronze medals.
Evans picked up bronze in the team pursuit and the madison at the worlds and admits she felt less pressure on herself going into the event in France.
The worlds came sharply after the European Championships, where Evans won gold alongside Katie Archibald in the madison.
The pair teamed up again on Saturday but were unable to get the better of the Dutch and French riders in Roubaix.
Earlier in the week, Evans and Archibald were joined by Meg Barker and Josie Knight in the team pursuit. They were beaten by Italy in the rounds to go to bronze medal race, where they comfortably saw off Canada.
“For me personally there’s frustrations but also a lot to be pleased with,” said Evans. “It’s been a lot of fun to come into which is a completely different approach.
“The Olympics was such a major focus, getting geared up for the worlds we just do anywhere near the same preparation as we normally would.
“You don’t feel the same pressure because you’re not in that pressure-cooker environment. But the flipside is there’s a reason you do all that prep, to be confident with where you’re at.
“I got ill at the Euros and told myself I would be over it but I know I wasn’t myself. That hurts a little bit. I’ve had three competitions this year and two of them I’ve been ill, which is frustrating.
“Coming away with two medals is a huge achievement. The madison was hard, there’s no two ways about it, and to some extent it was a bout survival in the end.
“In the team pursuit, it was Meg (Barker)’s first World Championship and it was quite a big ask for her to step into that. But there are a lot of positives we can take from it.”
As in the Olympics, the Germans proved the immovable object in the team pursuit as they swept to gold in the final.
“They rode through the Olympics and kept going,” added Evans. “We knew we weren’t able to match them but we would have liked to be a bit closer.
“We can see that’s what they’re going to rock up with – this is the ballpark and standard they are at. It’s easier knowing that, to be competitive, we need to do x, y or z.
“We hadn’t seen a lot of these teams racing prior to the worlds but we’re back to knowing the standards again.”
What. A. Team! ❤️
— British Cycling (@BritishCycling) October 21, 2021
Evans plans to race in Copenhagen next month and then have a rest period, one she thinks will be her longest since taking up the sport.
It has been a productive year though, with medals at the Olympics, European and World Championships.
Once the turn of the year comes, preparation will then begin for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
“This year came and went a lot faster and the gap between the Olympics, Euros and worlds was quick,” she added. “The same thing will happen with the Commonwealths.
“It’s important to have time to reflect and it’ll be the biggest break I’ve had since I started cycling.”