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BMX racer Kye Whyte has eyes only on gold for Great Britain at the UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow.
The Olympic silver medallist took the runners-up spot at last year’s worlds in Nantes and he is determined to go one better in front of a home crowd at the Glasgow BMX Centre next weekend.
“For me personally I’d say a win is the only thing I would be happy with,” Whyte said.
“Last year I came second. I was winning the race and I had a little back wheel slide and it cost me some speed. People passed me but I still managed to come second.”
To take that next step, the 23-year-old Londoner will need to overcome the injuries and illness that have plagued him over the last 12 months.
Last year Whyte won European gold and two World Cup medals to go with that World Championship silver, but he has also endured a horror run of injuries, breaking both shoulders and knocking himself out after crashing four times in nine months.
He missed the start of this year’s World Cup season with his shoulder still broken, and his recovery has been further hampered by migraines.
Despite all of that, Whyte feels ready for major competition.
“I would say my confidence isn’t damaged,” he added. “It is BMX, injuries happen, I have had way worse injuries.
“This most recent injury came at a rubbish time. I got it in a race and it set me back for half of the races. I missed the opening World Cups.
“At the time, mentally I was a bit drained from it. As I said, it happens, it’s BMX. I don’t know anyone in the sport who has not been injured through the year or been injured at all. I think you have to fight through it and carry on really.”
While Whyte seeks a first world title, his team-mate Beth Shriever heads to Glasgow aiming to reclaim the rainbow bands she won in 2021, just weeks after taking the Olympic crown in Tokyo.
Like Whyte, the 24-year-old has had injury setbacks this year, but despite that she tops the current World Cup standings after three wins in four races to date, having also taken fourth place at the European championships.
“I feel form-wise I’m pretty good at the minute,” Shriever said. “I’ve had two big crashes this year. In Papendal I wasn’t even 100 per cent in my opinion, and I was still able to get a World Cup win. So I’m pretty happy with that.
“I’m healthy, I’m training well now leading into worlds. It’s all just experience and all learning for what’s to come.”
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