Sarah Walker quips that her biggest goal at this week's world BMX championships is to "stay on my bike".

With anyone else it might sound trite. But Walker is back racing after nine months sidelined as she recovered from a nasty crash in California late last year which left her with six broken bones in an arm, knee problems and a lengthy and troubling concussion issue.

On top of that, the 27-year-old London Olympic silver medallist has had her share of other accidents since then. She figures she's due a spot of good luck as she prepares for the worlds in Heusden-Zolder, in Belgium's north east.

"Honestly I do try and avoid them all the time," she laughed. "It's part of the sport, it's about being smart but also making sure I perform the best I can. If I'm in the wrong place at the wrong time there's not much I can do about it. Hopefully I've used up all my bad luck."


Not so long ago, next year's Rio Olympics appeared a far off blip on her horizon, but the Bay of Plenty rider has worked her socks off and is relishing the chance to test herself at the highest level in Belgium.

"I couldn't have done much more in training than I have," she said. "I haven't raced these girls since last year so I've no idea where I'm at compared to them. I just know I'm riding as good as I've ever ridden really around the rest of the track; it's just whether I can get a start."

To that end, Walker has been training with world champion time trialler, and London bronze medallist, Laura Smulders in the Netherlands, and liked what she achieved with her starts, the area she know she needs to sharpen up.

Walker is reluctant to put a specific placing down as a satisfactory outcome this week. She simply doesn't know how she's tracking compared to her rivals. And she admitted to finding it "kind of weird" that she's in a good head space considering her time away from the sport.

Her body is "as good as it's ever going to get. At the end of the day I can hold my bars, I can ride and do the things I need to to perform at my best."

Walker needs to accumulate ranking points with her eye on Rio. She's racing in Sweden in three weeks, then Argentina and the United States and can't afford to miss any racing.

She's chasing consistency in the coming months and certainly has the class to make a rapid rise - just as long as she stays on her bike.