21-year-old sets sights on unique double gold at London 2012

Media attention at the weekend may have focused on Great Britain’s track and field stars and their impressive medal haul in the European Championships in Barcelona, but in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, cyclist Shanaze Reade – who herself started her sporting career in athletics – confirmed her return from injury by winning back the BMX World Championship on Saturday.

In doing so, Reade, who had crashed on the final bend in the final at the Olympics in Beijing two years ago after clipping the wheel of eventual winner, France’s Anne-Caroline Chausson, confirmed her status as one of the favourites to win the event at London 2012.

Reade saw off the challenge of reigning champion Sarah Walker of New Zealand and the USA’s Alise Post, who respectively finished in second and third place, to claim her third title in four years, setting a time of 38.819 seconds.

The 21-year-old from Crewe, who suffered a broken wrist and displaced pelvis in that crash in Beijing, said afterwards: "It's absolutely amazing – I'm emotional at the moment but the feeling is so good.” Quoted in the Daily Telegraph, she continued: “Missing last year was one of the hardest things, but every day that went past I was digging more and more, and it's paid off."

Besides the BMX event in London, Reade also plans to compete in the team sprint with Victoria Pendleton, an event in which the pair were world champions in 2007 and 2008, as she seeks to pull off a unique double, explaining, “I want to be the first British athlete to win two golds in two different disciplines."


Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.