Top BMX rider joins Team GB Track Sprint Squad
Liam Phillips to train with Team GB Track Sprint Programme for a spot in the team sprint
Top BMX rider Liam Phillips is to train with British Cycling's Track Sprint Programme with a view to riding the Man One position the Men's Team Sprint.
In a statement today British Cycling said that 21-year old Liam had shown the power output potential to ride in the Team Sprint – according to British Cycling he will target the U23 European Track Championships in Portugal in July with the main goal of making the elite squad for the 2011/2012 World Cup season and beyond.
Head Coach Shane Sutton said: “BMX requires powerful acceleration from a standing start which mirrors what’s required from the Man One rider in the Team Sprint. Like Jamie Staff before him, Liam has proved he is powerful enough to bring the rest of the team up to pace within the first lap. With that in mind it is certainly worth bringing him into the squad to take a closer look, whilst keeping the door open for Liam to continue his BMX career.”
Speaking of the new opportunity, Liam said: “Over the past few years, I’ve sustained numerous injuries which have left me unable to train on the BMX track for significant periods of time. Turning to track has meant that I receive a solid block of training with opportunities to compete at a high-level which means I’m not missing out on the competition experience. And let’s face it – this has to be one of the best environments in the world of cycling to train in!”
BMX riders have been a mainstay of Team GB's success on the track over the past few years and that convenyor belt of talent is still producing.Phillips will be no stranger to the set up at the velodrome as he is already part of Team GB set up as a BMX rider. He rode at the Beijing Olympics as a 19 year old, and has been European Champion and placed second in the World Championships on two occasions. His 2011 season started badly when he was injured in a crash which required surgery to his wrist and shoulder, injuries from which he is only recently recovered.