THE PRESSURE will be on James Coleman when he attempts to defend his age group world title at this weekend's Duathlon World Championships but the Wiltshire champion insists he isn't feeling the nerves.
The 28-year-old, from Westwood, experienced a stunning introduction to international competition as he came first in the 25-29 category at last year's championships in Ottawa, Canada, last year, less than a year after first taking up competitive duathlon.
On Sunday, Coleman, who works in London for market research agency OnePoll, who are also sponsoring him, will be in Pontevedra, Spain, attempting to become an age group champion for the second successive year.
“I think that it’s going to be much harder this year because a lot of European athletes didn’t make the trip over to Canada, but I’m definitely a lot more relaxed than I was this time last year,” said Coleman, who rides for the Bath-based Velo Club Walcot and is also sponsored by Saddleback cycling shop, in Yate.
“Worrying is wasted energy so I'm going to go out there and just think about myself. When you’re in the race helmet, it can be a very lonely place, so I'm just going to concentrate on doing as well as I can.
“It’s going to be very hot out there, so I’ve tried to ride at noon as often as I can when it's been warm here recently.
“My mum (Hilary) and dad (Roger), and my girlfriend (Gabrielle) are all coming to watch, which will be nice.
“I was 52nd in the Bristol 10k (on May 11), so I know I've got the running in my legs and I've been competing in a few hill climb events in the WTTA (Western Time Trial Association) Hardrider series too.
“Winning last year has been a big thing for my confidence. In life, you might get let go from your job or someone might talk you down, but no-one can take achievements like that away from you.
“It was something that I achieved through my own hard work, so even if I don't do well again this year, there are always other things to focus on.”
A fourth-placed finish at March’s Dambuster Duath-lon in Rutland Water, Leicestershire, sealed Cole-man’s place in the 2015 European Championships, which have yet to be given a venue.
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