Reade comes third in Olympic test

BMX rider Shanaze Reade

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Reade using Beijing ‘failure’ to fuel Olympic fire

Three-time world champion Shanaze Reade declared herself happy after finishing third at the BMX Olympic test event.

The 22-year-old is one of 170 athletes competing on the London 2012 course for the first time this weekend.

“I said beforehand if I got into the top five I’d be happy, so I am really pleased to be third overall,” she said after Friday’s events.

On Saturday, attention turns to the event finals where the top 32 riders – including Reade – vie for top spot.

Only Colombia’s Mariana Pajon and Lauren Reynolds of Australia were faster in Friday’s trials, before Reade secured another third-place finish in the 16-person Superfinal later in the afternoon.

Magalie Pottier of France won the final women’s race of the day.

Reade will be joined in the quarter-finals by fellow Briton Abbie Taylor, who finished 25th in qualification.

Taylor said: “The atmosphere was great and the crowd were really supportive.

“Even if I don’t get to go to London 2012, I can say I’ve been here and seen it for real.”

Shanaze Reade

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Pedal problems end Reade’s world championship title defence

The BMX Olympic test event, which doubled up as the third round of the UCI Supercross World Cup Series, is only the second sport to take place in the Olympic Park, following the basketball test event which began earlier this week.

A crowd of 2,500 – the current capacity – is expected at the venue. The capacity will increase to 6,000 by the beginning of the Olympics.

The London course is characterised by a series of jumps, bumps, tightly banked corners and a unique tunnel underpass.

Of the 170 competitors, 64 male and 32 female riders will progress from Friday’s time-trials to Saturday’s quarter-finals.

After a series of heats and semi-finals, eight male and eight female riders will progress to the finals – scheduled to take place from 1630 BST on Saturday.

Reade, who aims to compete in both BMX and track cycling events in 2012, insists her recent injury problems are now behind her and that she is ready for her next challenge.

“As an athlete you have to accept you get setbacks, but I’ve got over that now. I’m fit and well and looking forward to the test event and the Olympic Games,” she said.

“In a year’s time, I’ll be back here and I’ll be here to win. Hopefully a victory in the test event will be a good omen for 2012.”

In the men’s event on Friday, Cal Strickland’s 59th spot represented the British team’s best effort.

Connor Fields of the United States managed the quickest time in the time trial, although he was usurped in the Superfinal by Sam Willoughby.

Follow Olympic sports reporter Nick Hope on Twitter for updates.

Shanaze Reade's guide to the BMX bike

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Shanaze Reade explains the basics of her BMX bike

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