The British BMX rider working in a school to help fund her Olympic dream

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GB’s Shriever BMX world gold in dramatic finish

“At times it’s been stressful, wondering where the money is going to come from, but the results are making it all worthwhile.”

Beth Shriever will compete in her first World Championships as a senior this weekend.

At 19, and following the retirements of former world champions Shanaze Reade and Liam Phillips, she is regarded as the standard bearer of British BMX riding.

But unlike Reade and Phillips, she receives no funding. And last year – just months after winning the world junior title – she left the British set-up.

The teenager admits going it alone, and taking a job as a teaching assistant, was “a risk”.

But she feels her maiden World Cup victory last month went some way to vindicating her decision.

As she prepares to race in Baku, Azerbaijan on Friday, Shriever tells BBC Sport about the “shock” of losing funding, wanting to be a role model, and her Olympic dream.

‘It was so out of the blue’

Reade retired as a three-time world champion – having won the event in 2007, 2008 and 2010 – while Phillips took the title in 2013.

That means Britain have won as many World Championships as the USA in the past 11 years.

Despite that, no British rider has won an Olympic BMX medal. Phillips and Kyle Evans competed at Rio 2016 but no British women qualified.

As a result, UK Sport stipulated in its post-Olympic funding review that only male riders could be supported heading towards Tokyo 2020.

“It was such a shock and just so out of the blue,” says Shriever, whose parents were on the cusp of leaving their family base in Essex and relocating to Manchester to support their daughter.

“We were like, ‘what do we do and how can we make it work?’ When I was younger British Cycling took me everywhere and paid for everything so it was a worry.”

British Cycling was able to create a support package, funded through commercial income, for the female BMX riders.

But Shriever and her coach Mark Seaman decided their destiny was best served by creating their own programme based in Braintree, close to the rider’s home in, Finchingfield, Essex.

That, though, has not been without its difficulties.


Liam Phillips won the world title in 2013 and competed at the Rio Olympics in 2016

Teaching en route to Tokyo

The cost of entering an event in Europe – including travel – is upwards of £2,000, with competitions further afield often costing more than double that figure.

“I have a bike sponsor and a most of my kit is sponsored but it’s finding money for the travel and races that’s difficult and it’s been a little bit stressful,” says Shriever, who admits to reluctantly leaning on the “bank of mum and dad” at times.

“I’ve also started part-time as a teaching assistant for two- and three-year-olds. The school, which is also where my mum works, are absolutely great about giving me time off to compete. They’ve been massively supportive and I love it.

“It’s also taught me a lot about talking to younger generations and I want to be a role model, particularly for the young girls so they can see what’s achievable in sport.”

The importance of the ‘personal touch’

In last year’s annual review, UK Sport removed the clause in the funding award to British Cycling, which stated female riders could not be invested in.

As such, British Cycling is able to support Shriever when she competes for Great Britain this week, but it is the rider’s decision to remain independent from the national governing body for the World Cup circuit.

Seaman, who is self-employed and travels around the country delivering masterclasses to earn his income, feels greater investment would give them more options.

“There’s more depth of quality female riders in Europe so if we could get out to race, train more and use their SuperCross tracks, that would help,” says Seaman,

“It’s been tricky for me, and obviously I have to do a lot of other work to try and cover the weeks away, but the effort that Beth’s put in has made it more than worthwhile.”

He admits the transition from British Cycling has been “pretty tough” at times for Shriever, but believes the results are proving a personalised approach works.

“I think sometimes we forget athletes need something outside of training, and the biggest secret with Beth is just to make sure she’s happy and getting the quality of life a normal 19-year-old should get,” he tells BBC Sport.

“She’s gone from education and training with British Cycling, to training here, trying to have a reasonable social life and working as well which was very hard at first, but I’m proud of how she’s dealt with it.”

Shriever says she would like there to be “less stress” around finance, but is also enjoying the tailor-made approach to her programme.

“[UK Sport’s involvement] would add that little bit of pressure to get results, and without that pressure I’m just enjoying myself and getting the results,” she says.

“I still have a great relationship with British Cycling and we’re constantly communicating, but the programme I have is so exclusive and I have this amazing balance of working, training and seeing my friends.”

Will Shriever be GB’s next world champion?


The World Championships in Baku began on Tuesday

Baku 2018 is Shriever’s first World Championships in the senior ranks, and she is unsurprisingly trying to play down talk of following Reade and Phillips by winning a medal.

But, after a maiden World Cup success in Zolder, Belgium, last month, she is aware other riders will be watching her more intensely.

“That second day in Zolder, I could tell people were a bit more wary,” she says.

“Obviously all the girls are so supportive and say ‘well done’ but once you’re on that gate all that goes out of the window, so it does add a bit more pressure to me.

Has success, in her first senior year, shocked her?

“Definitely,” she replies.

“At the start of the season our goals were a few semi-finals and a final so to come away with a win has exceeded that and proves to me and everyone else that I can do it.

“To make a semi-final at my first elite Worlds would mean everything, but then it’s BMX so anything can happen and you have to keep an open mind with every race.

“Long-term I want to win multiple titles and an Olympic gold, so that’s definitely the aim one day and hopefully I’ll be on the gate in Tokyo.”

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‘It’s perfect’

Team Sky's Thomas (right) is fourth overall, 21 seconds behind leader Michal Kwiatkowski (third from right)

Geraint Thomas (far right) is fourth, 21 seconds behind leader Michal Kwiatkowski (third from right)

Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas said they produced one of their “best time trials ever” to dominate the third stage of the Criterium du Dauphine.

Thomas and his colleagues beat BMC Racing to win the team time trial by 37 seconds and now hold the top four places in the general classification.

Michal Kwiatkowski leads the race, with Gianni Moscon and Jonathan Castroviejo second and third respectively.

Thomas, who started the day in 20th place, is 21 seconds behind in fourth.

“It’s perfect,” said the 32-year-old Welshman. “We’ve ridden really well. It was fluid and fast. It’s probably one of Team Sky’s best time trials ever.

“Now we have four hard stages ahead of us. We’ve got several cards to play but it’ll still be difficult to win.”

Team Sky – looking to win the race for the sixth time in eight years – finished the 35km stage in 36 minutes 33 seconds. Lotto Soudal were third, 53 seconds back.

South Africa’s Daryl Impey held the leader’s jersey overnight but his Mitchelton-Scott team lost 56 seconds to the Sky riders, and he now sits eighth.

The race moves into the mountains on Thursday, with a 181km stage from Chazey-sur-Ain to Lans-en-Vercors.

Stage three result

Team time trial

1. Team Sky 36mins 33secs

2. BMC +37secs

3. Lotto +52secs

4. Mithcelton +56 secs

5. Quick-Step + 1min 1sec

General classification

1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) 9hrs 20mins 21secs

2. Gianni Moscon (Ita/Team Sky) +3secs

3. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa/Team Sky) +9secs

4. Geraint Thomas (Wal/Team Sky) +21secs

5. Brent Bookwalter (US/BMC Racing) +48 secs

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Criterium du Dauphine: Daryl Impey leads Team Sky rider Michal Kwiatkowski

Impey celebrates and holds a two-second lead overall with five stages to go

Impey won the general classification at the Tour Down Under earlier this year

South Africa’s Daryl Impey took advantage of a late crash by Team Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski to lead the Criterium du Dauphine after two stages.

The Mitchelton-Scott rider was third on the 181km stage, won by Germany’s Pascal Ackermann in four hours, 19 minutes 57 seconds.

Kwiatkowski had held the leader’s yellow jersey after stage one but crashed late on in wet conditions.

He is second overall, two seconds behind Impey with five stages to go.

Impey’s strong podium finish follows his victory on the opening stage.

Poland’s Kwiatkowski finished in 89th position after his fall but remains in overall contention overall going into Wednesday’s 35km sprint stage.

The four stages which follow are for pure climbers with a summit finish every day on fearsome climbs in the Alps.

British riders Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) are 19th and 20th in the overall standings, 23 seconds off the pace.

Stage 2 result:

1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) 4hrs 19mins 57secs

2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor/Dimension Data) same time

3. Daryl Impey (Rsa/Mitchelton-Scott) same time

4. Oliver Naesen (Bel/AG2R La Mondiale) same time

5. Jens Keukeleire (Bel/Lotto Soudal) same time

Selected others:

24. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky) same time

44. Daniel Martin (Irl/UAE Team Emirates) same time

50. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB/Team Sky) same time

56. Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) same time

72. Peter Kennaugh (GB/Bora-Hansgrohe) same time

General classification

1. Daryl Impey (SA/Mitchelton-Scott) 8hrs 51mins 46secs

2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) +2 secs

3. Gianni Moscon (Ita/Team Sky) +5 secs

4. Bob Jungels (Lux/Quick-Step Floors) +9 secs

Selected others:

19. Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +23 secs

20. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky) +23 secs

35. Daniel Martin (Irl/UAE Team Emirates) +31 secs,

36. Peter Kennaugh (GB/Bora-Hansgrohe+ +31 secs

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Impey wins Dauphine stage as Kwiatkowski keeps lead

Daryl Impey wins stage one

Darly Impey kicked with 200m to go to win the stage in four hours 24 minutes 26 seconds

South African Daryl Impey won the first stage of the Criterium du Dauphine in a sprint finish.

The Mitchelton-Scott rider, 33, beat Julian Alaphilippe and Pascal Ackermann on the 179km stage from Valence to Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert.

Team Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski, who won Sunday’s prologue, finished in the group on the same time and leads Impey overall by two seconds.

Britons Geraint Thomas and Adam Yates remain 21 seconds behind Kwiatkowski.

“I didn’t feel too good,” said Impey. “I surprised myself. I found myself in a good position and decided to go.”

Thomas is leading Team Sky in the absence of compatriot Chris Froome, who won the Giro d’Italia in May.

Froome has won the past three editions of the Dauphine.

Tuesday’s second stage takes the riders 180.5km from Montbrison to Belleville.

The eight-day race, which is regarded as a measure of riders’ form before July’s Tour de France, finishes on Sunday.

Stage 1 result:

1. Daryl Impey (SA/Mitchelton-Scott) four hours 24 minutes 26 seconds

2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Quick-Step Floors) same time

3. Pascal Ackermann (Ger/BORA-Hansgrohe) same time

4. Tiesj Benoot (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) same time

5. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) same time

6. Jesus Herrada (Spa/Cofidis, Solutions Credits) same time

7. Damiano Caruso (Ita/BMC Racing Team) same time

8. Xandro Meurisse (Bel/Wanty-Groupe Gobert) same time

9. Mike Teunissen (Ned/Team Sunweb) same time

10. Jaime Roson Garcia (Spa/Movistar Team) same time

Selected others:

31. Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) same time

43. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky) same time

56. Peter Kennaugh (Boro-Hansgrohe) same time

General classification

1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) four hours 31 minutes 51 seconds

2. Daryl Impey (SA/Mitchelton-Scott) +2 seconds

3. Gianni Moscon (Ita/Team Sky) +3secs

4. Bob Jungels (Lux/Quick-Step Floors) +7secs

5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Quick-Step Floors) +8secs

6. Jens Keukeleire (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) +9secs

7. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa/Team Sky) same time

8. Brent Bookwalter (US/BMC Racing Team) +11secs

9. Mike Teunissen (Ned/Team Sunweb) +13secs

10. Damiano Caruso (Ita/BMC Racing Team) +15secs

Selected others:

22. Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +21secs

23. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky) same time

38. Peter Kennaugh (Boro-Hansgrohe) +29secs

65. Stephen Cummings (GB/Team Dimension Data) +58secs

76. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB/Team Sky) +1:37

78. Luke Rowe (GB/Team Sky) +1:41

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Thomas in contention despite Dauphine prologue crash

Geraint Thomas

Thomas is Team Sky’s leader in the absence of Chris Froome, who isn’t in the squad following his Giro d’Italia win

Britain’s Geraint Thomas recovered from a crash on the opening time trial of the Criterium du Dauphine to finish 21 seconds adrift of Team Sky team-mate and winner Michal Kwiatkowski.

Thomas, 32, crashed on a right-hand bend on the 6.6km prologue in Valence.

Poland’s Kwiatkowski crossed the finish line in seven minutes and 25 seconds, one second faster than Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s Dutch rider Jos van Emden.

“I know that [Geraint] can fight for the win,” said Kwiatkowski.

“Both of us, Geraint and myself, have come here to see how the shape is growing before the Tour de France and it’s of course my advantage to win the prologue but the harder stages are at the end of the race.

“There are some hard mountain finishes and a team time trial. For sure, we’re looking forward to race hard but at the moment I just want to enjoy this victory.”

Team Sky’s Gianni Moscon finished third, three seconds behind Kwiatkowski.

The week-long race is regarded as a good indicator of form ahead of July’s Tour de France.

Britain’s Chris Froome has won the race on three occasions, each time going on to win the Tour. However, he is not racing this year, having instead opted to compete in May’s Giro d’Italia, which he won.

The Criterium continues on Monday with a 179km race from Valence to Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert.


Sunday’s prologue was Kwiatkowski’s first race since the Ardennes Classics at the end of April

Prologue result:

1 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) 7mins 25secs

2 Jos van Emden (Ned/Team LottoNL-Jumbo) +1sec

3 Gianni Moscon (Ita/Team Sky) +3secs

4 Victor Campenaerts (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) +5secs

5 Patrick Bevin (Nzl/BMC Racing Team) same time

6 Matthias Brandle (Aut/Trek-Segafredo) +6secs

7 Bob Jungels (Lux/Quick-Step Floors) +7secs

8 Jens Keukeleire (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) +9secs

9 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa/Team Sky) same time

10 Brent Bookwalter (USA/BMC Racing Team) +11secs

Selected other:

43 Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky) +21secs

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