Para-cyclist William Bjergfelt says winning his first world title in Glasgow “really helps his case” to earn selection for the Paris Paralympics next year.
Bjergfelt missed out on the 2020 Games in Tokyo due to a broken leg.
“I’m hugely motivated, this really, really helps my case going forward,” Bjergfelt told BBC Sport.
“As a squad we had a meeting with all our management last year and I know from that meeting that their aim was not to leave any world champions going into Paris at home.
“At the same time I know that the size of the squad is relatively small compared to the actual size of the Great Britain para-cycling team. As a men’s team there’s around 20 athletes, and of those 20 only eight we imagine will go to Paris.
“I’m hopeful that a world championship title is a big tick in my box. I definitely need to get a few more medals at the first three rounds of the World Cup series next year. If I can score a medal on the track as well I’m pretty sure that will secure my spot.”
Bjerfelt, from Portishead, Bristol, is enjoying the best season of his career in 2023. He took a two-year sabbatical from his job as an aerospace engineer to focus fully on selection for Paris 2024.
Earlier this spring he took his first gold medal and a bronze at two rounds of the World Cup series.
“I’ve put full trust in my coach from British Cycling, Ben, and he’s delivered the goods in terms of training that’s got me to the place where I am now where from a road race perspective this year, my worst result is a third,” he added.
“At the moment I’m ranked third in the world which is again mind blowing and I’ve become the world champion in the road race. For something that’s seen as a bit of a lottery I’ve become very consistent at it this year.”
‘I wanted this medal more than anything’
Bjergfelt attacked from the start of the road race in Dumfries and ended up in a breakaway group of three riders for almost the entirety of the race.
In the sprint finish, in the cold and rain with his family watching, he comfortably won the race to the line to claim the rainbow jersey.
“I was just really motivated, I wanted this medal, this world championship title more than anything,” Bjergfelt said.
“The powers that I produced in the race I’ve actually never produced in my entire life so I’m still trying to get my head around the numbers.
“If ever the pace felt like it was slowing down I just hit the front and drove it even harder. My rivals said to me at the finish line ‘we had nothing left to give because we’d already given it to try and stay with you’. That blew my mind a bit as well.”
Bjergfelt is hoping to debut his new jersey at a race as soon as this weekend, before enjoying a bit of downtime ahead of his next major target; the Track World Championships next spring.
“It’s a pretty amazing feeling to be a world champion. It’s something I’ve dreamt of since I started racing a bike when I was 15 years old which is now 29 years ago so to finally get here and after everything I’ve been through as well to get here is simply mind blowing,” he continued.
“I still can’t quite get my head around it. I get to race the whole of next year now in the rainbow jersey, the world champs jersey.”