GB can produce BMX best

Liam Phillips believes Great Britain will soon become a force in BMX racing, having clinched

his first world title in Auckland on Sunday.

He won every race at the World Championships en route to the final where he edged out New Zealand’s Marc Willers to triumph.

“We’ve got everything to produce the best BMX riders in the world,” he said.

“It won’t be long before the young academy guys will be competing for world and Olympic medals.”

Liam Phillips factfile

Liam Phillips

  • Age:

  • Born:

  • 1999:

    Wins European BMX title
  • 2005:

    Accepted on to the Olympic Academy Programme
  • 2006:

    Wins silver at European Championships
  • 2008:

    Makes quarter-finals at Beijing Olympics
  • 2010:

    First podium finish in World Cup race
  • 2012:

    Wins world time trial silver medal
  • 2012:

    Crashes in Olympic final
  • 2013:

    Wins time trial gold medal in Supercross at World Cup in Manchester
  • 2013:

    Wins World Championship in New Zealand

Somerset rider Phillips added that he was optimistic about the long-term future of the sport in Britain, which has already produced a three-time world champion in Shanaze Reade.

“We’ve seen numbers double at grassroots level during the cycle from Beijing to London,” he continued.

“I expect that to continue from now to Rio. At the elite end, we’ve got great academy riders coming through.”

Phillips won several British and European titles early on in his career before joining the Olympic Academy Programme in 2005.

He made the quarter-finals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and achieved his first World Cup podium two years later.

In 2012, he won time trial silver at the World Championships before breaking his collarbone just over two months before the Olympics.

“It happened 10 weeks before the Games, but I got back in one piece,” said Phillips. “I was in good form before London 2012 and was pleased how I raced there.”

Phillips reached the Olympic final

but crashed out of the race.

He said that even if a rider entered a competition as favourite, the “unpredictable” nature of the sport meant that success was still hard to achieve.

“Since that race, this has been in the forefront of my mind,” he added.

“The Worlds are always the biggest outside the Olympics and I had this as a key goal. To come here and deliver… it’s my best-ever performance.

“I’ve worked towards this for such a long time. To finally win a rainbow jersey at the World Championships is amazing.”

The Manchester-based cyclist said he was focused on realising another major ambition.

“I’ll be 27 in 2016 for the Rio Olympics and it’ll be the back-end of my career. Hopefully I can go there and make amends for London.”

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