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BMX riders refuse to race on 'unsafe' Rio 2016 Olympic course

Riders including Britain's Liam Phillips staged boycott of 'dangerous' course...

Olympic BMX hopefuls have refused to ride a test event for the Rio 2016 Olympics, saying that the course was unsafe.

Liam Phillips, Britain's BMX Supercross double World Cup winner, was one of several riders to decide not to compete, saying that some of the jumps were too dangerous.

He wrote on instagram:  "We shouldn't have to 'race' on such sub-standard tracks."

The test event will now take place on a modified course today.

Philips told the BBC: "Although I feel the sport took a step backwards today with the riders refusing to ride, it was extremely necessary for the riders' safety.

"We, more than anyone else, want a platform to showcase the sport of BMX."

The course was designed by Tom Ritzenthaler, who designed the last two Olympic courses in Beijing and London.

Phillips lost out at the 2012 London Games. He got a great start but fell away after one of his feet unclipped and was caught up in a crash as he drifted back through the field.

“I've defied all expectation to be here let alone be a contender, so I should be pleased with my performance even though I’m disappointed now,” he reflected at the time.

“It was the best start of my life, and that’s what you aim to do at the Olympics. But I overshot the second jump, and probably my first too - that’s how fast I came out of the gate.”

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