Britain’s snowboard cross world champion Charlotte Bankes says she will be racing full-throttle in the build-up to the Winter Olympics, which start in just one month in Beijing.
The 26-year-old is preparing for her third Games, but her first in Team GB kit having switched from France after Pyeongchang 2018 - a move which she says has revitalised her career.
Bankes is starting 2022 after the best calendar year of her life. She claimed the world title in February 2021 and followed that up with World Cup victories in Georgia and Austria, before finishing ninth just before Christmas in Cervinia, Italy.
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But Bankes is a perfectionist who says she did not have the “consistency” she wanted last season, something she hopes she ironed out with her team in the summer.

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“The start of the season wasn't good. I was doubting it, there were quite a lot of questions going on in my head, training was going well, but if it's not reflecting on race day it's difficult,” Bankes told Eurosport.
“As soon as we got there (to the World Championships), I was just having fun on the track and going fast and from that point, I think that our coaches thought it could work but I just didn't really believe it.
“To come away with the result was pretty good. I just wanted to be able to continue on that and not just have one result over the season. Almost straight away, I knew I needed to get more results because I don't want it to be about one World Champs.
“I get low on the low runs, on the highs I move on quite quickly. On the lows it's a bit tougher to bounce back but the coaches and the staff help with that.”
Bankes was born in the UK but moved to France when she was a child, after her parents - who are also both British - decided to make their holiday home in the Alps their permanent residence. The move to GB Snowsport has corresponded with a transformation in her results and that has made her one of the favourites to reach the podium in Beijing.
She has done everything she needs to do to be officially selected for the Games but with just a month to go, the schedule is packed full of races. Bankes believes momentum will give her the best opportunity to claim an Olympic medal.
“I don't think wrapping ourselves up in cotton wool is the best idea,” she said.
We've got a big month in January with four races. I think the best preparation is to race and to get that racing done. I need to ride as well as I can and give it my all in every race.
“For sure, we'll be looking ahead at the Olympics after that. But I think first I need to concentrate on the next few World Cups. It's (the Olympics) a goal, but we're in boardercross, and anything can happen. I need to ride as fast as I can, give it my all and see what happens.”
Bankes competes in a risky sport where a fall from just one of her rivals can potentially result in the entire field joining them in hitting the snow. But she has been on the circuit for a long time and believes her experience helps her avoid any incidents - and potential injury.
“You can let your instinct do the moves, you don't have to think about it too much,” she said.
“If you're thinking about it, you're probably too late already. For injuries, I think what's most important is the training we do in the summer. All the physical training, being strong and all that - it can help.
“But there's going to be crashes, unfortunately, and often it's the small stupid crashes where we hurt ourselves. It's about being as strong as possible to withstand all the impacts we take.”
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