Ffion James: Sister act aids World Cup cyclo-cross bid

Becky, Rachel and Ffion James pictured in 2013
Becky, Rachel and Ffion James pictured after Becky won two golds at the 2013 World Track Cycling Championship

Welsh cyclo-cross rider Ffion James can count on the support of her famous sisters as she bids for the World Championships.

Ffion, 18, is the younger sister of Olympic silver medallist Becky and Rachel, who is in the GB team for the European Track Championships in Paris.

Ffion races at the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup in Netherlands this weekend.

"They're really good at giving me advice to do with race preparation, coping with nerves and things like that," Ffion said.

Becky, 24, was double sprint and keirin world champion in 2013 and overcame illness and injury to win two silver medals at this year's Rio Olympics.

What is cyclo-cross?
Founded in late 19th century by French soldier Daniel Gousseau, who rode his bike over rough trails and difficult obstacles to maintain cycling fitness during the winter
A typical course is between 2.5km and 3.5km and should have paved roads, forest and field sections, plus obstacles to break the rhythm of the rider
A men's race lasts about an hour, while women compete for about 40 minutes
The UCI World Championships were introduced in 1950

As a tandem pilot for the Para-cycling team, eldest sister Rachel, 28, won gold medals with Sophie Thornhill, in the 1km time-trial and sprint at the 2014 World Championships.

But Ffion does not feel weighed down by the success achieved by her sisters.

"Maybe if I pursued track sprint like my sisters then there would be more pressure on me, but I just pursued the discipline I enjoyed the most," she added.

She has also been selected for the European Cyclo-Cross Championships, held in Pont-Chateau in France on the weekend of 29-30 October.

"More than anything, it'll be a really good experience and I can use that to see where my weaknesses are and what I need to work on the next few weeks," Ffion said.

"The next time I go abroad racing I can use my result and my performance to set a benchmark and use that to set a target for my future races.

"What I'm aiming for this season is working towards the National Championships at the beginning of January.

"If I have a good race there that will lead on to selection for the World Championships at the end of January."