REJUVENATED Non Stanford hopes to continue her renaissance by making it third time lucky in Leeds.
Stanford was crowned world champion in 2013 and ended a frustrating recent spell battling an Achilles injury when finishing third in last month’s World Series leg in Yokohama.
I’ve never actually done very well at Leeds so, hopefully, this year I can make amends for that and put in a performance that I am a bit more satisfied with.Non Stanford
In doing so, Stanford was recording her first podium finish since 2016 and the Swansea-born star has now set her sights on setting the record straight in Leeds.
Stanford finished 11th in last year’s race after finishing ninth in 2016 and the 2018 Leeds race has been opened up with the news that reigning world champion Flora Duffy will miss the race through injury.
“I am obviously looking forward to the race in Leeds,” said Stanford. “A home crowd is always fantastic and the Leeds crowd especially is brilliant.
“Leeds sports fans are pretty impressive, they seem to get behind any sporting event that comes to the city and that’s fantastic.
“I’ve never actually done very well at Leeds so, hopefully, this year I can make amends for that and put in a performance that I am a bit more satisfied with. It’s such a tough course but you wouldn’t expect anything less from a Yorkshire event I guess.”
Reflecting on her recent return to form in Yokohama, Stanford admitted: “It was great to be back racing near the top of the field. There is still a lot of work to be done but it was great to step back on the podium and to start to feel like my normal self. It has been a testing couple of years with a lot of injuries.”
Stanford will be joined on the start line by Leeds’s reigning European champion and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Vicky Holland, who pipped former Leeds house-mate Stanford to a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics.