Cycling: Becky James feared knee injury might end her career

Becky James
Becky James was the first British rider to win four medals at the World Championships
Sport Wales
BBC Two Wales, 19:00 BST, Friday, April 3.

Welsh cyclist Becky James feared her career could have been over because of a serious injury.

The former double world champion, 23, missed the 2014 Commonwealth Games due to recurring trouble in her left knee.

James has not raced since April 2014 and admits the road back to fitness has been a tough one.

"There were points where I found it really tough and thought I didn't want to do this anymore," James told BBC's Sport Wales programme.

"I thought it was never going to get better. There were many ups and downs and it's been a tough, really long process."

"It was mentally really hard as well as physically hard, but then I turned that corner and I feel more positive and realise why I do this.

"I love cycling and I love racing and I couldn't wait to get back. I feel like I've come out of it stronger than ever."

Becky James makes history at Worlds

James aggravated the knee injury when she returned to training following a period of rest after a minor medical procedure.

The Abergavenny-born track cyclist won silver and bronze for Wales at the Commonwealth Games in 2010, but came to international prominence at the 2013 Track World Championships.

She won gold medals in the keirin and sprint event, and also picked up bronze medals in the team sprint and 500m time trial in Minsk.

James missed out on the London Olympics in 2012 after a season wrecked by injury and illness, and says competing at the Rio Games next year is her ultimate ambition.

Following a spell at the English Institute of Sport rehabilitation centre at Bisham Abbey, James has resumed a gradual return to training at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester.

"It's been something I've been thinking about for a long time even if it's just doing the warm up," James added.

"I don't feel worried at all. I feel really confident about things. I've just got to get back to my normal training routine. We haven't set any plans in place quite yet.

"I'm going to focus on getting fit again and getting back to my normal track routine, back in the gym and go from there."

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