British world trials champion Dougie Lampkin admitted Saturday’s Sheffield indoor trial was his toughest-ever.
Dougie, honoured in the New Year’s list with an MBE, had to overcome a major scare to grab a narrow victory.
Lampkin trailed promising Spaniard Marc Frexia with two stages left to tackle – plus a high jump and two races to contend with.
But the 25-year-old showed the determination that has brought him the last 10 world championships – five indoors and five outdoors.
He dropped just two points in the run in to the finish and was perfect through the jump and races to beat young pretender Frexia by just four points.
Afterwards, Lampkin said: " That was the toughest Sheffield there’s been. It’s a while since I’ve been pushed like that anywhere.
" Marc kept giving me chances, but I wasn’t taking them. I heard voices of encouragement from the crowd and thought ‘I’d better do this’. Thankfully I did. "
Sheffield was round one of 10 indoor trials which will decide whether Lampkin can make it six consecutive titles. The next round is in Koblenz, Germany on Saturday, January 12.