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Williamson feels 'driven to improve' after disappointing World Championships

Katy Marchant, left, and Victoria Williamson couldn't hide their disappointment after team sprint qualification at the 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Poland Picture: Alex Broadway/SWpix.com

Katy Marchant, left, and Victoria Williamson couldn't hide their disappointment after team sprint qualification at the 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Poland Picture: Alex Broadway/SWpix.com

Alex Broadway/SWpix.com

Victoria Williamson has vowed she feels "driven to improve" after struggling to hide her disappointment with results at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships.

Norfolk’s cycling star only returned to competitive action in January, three years after an awful crash while racing in Rotterdam, which left her facing a battle to recover full movement, let alone return to the top of her sport.

Yet the 25-year-old, from Hevingham, did enough to persuade British Cycling to take her to Poland, to compete in the women’s team sprint and the 500-metre time-trial.

Williamson fractured her neck and back, dislocated her pelvis and sustained a deep cut to her right flank in the January 2016 crash, causing her to miss the 2016 Olympics.

The former Norwich High School for Girls pupil has now begun the journey to try and qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – and clearly hasn’t lost the competitive streak required for elite cycling, which won her world team sprint bronze alongside Becky James in Belarus in 2013.

Victoria Williamson races the women's 500m time-trial at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Poland Picture: SWpix.comVictoria Williamson races the women's 500m time-trial at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Poland Picture: SWpix.com

“Thirteen months back training and I’ve just finished the World Champs, I’m happy to have got to this point but I’m leaving disappointed,” Williamson posted on Instagram.

“I didn’t want to return to cycling to participate, I wanted to come back to compete, and this week I was short of being competitive!

“Thanks so much for everyone’s support. Driven to improve, so back to the drawing board.”

Competing in the team sprint in Pruszków – alongside Olympic individual sprint bronze medallist Katy Marchant – brought 14th place in qualifying in a time of 34.396 seconds, 0.631 adrift of reaching the first round.

The 500m time-trial followed for Williamson, however, finishing 22nd in 35.069 seconds wasn’t enough to progress either, finishing 0.942 seconds off qualification – with GB team-mate Marchant also not advancing in 14th.

Marchant told Eurosport: “For Great Britain we have had a very average competition. But to remind myself I had a look back at where we were in Paris four years ago and we were about where we are now. So I would say we’re definitely going in the right direction.”

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