Published: 3 February 2012
Report: Scott Hobro
Image: Spencer Moret
Great Britain coaches Jeremy Hayes and Marcus Bloomfield believe the future of British BMX is set to be a bright one as they map out the pathway to Rio 2016 for the current crop of youngsters.
Talent Team rider Quillan Isidore was in impressive form at the Euro Series in Belgium.
A positive outing at rounds seven and eight of the European Series in Belgium was further confirmation of the potential currently in the ranks. Standout performances from Talent Team rider Quillan Isidore (first in the 15-16 years) and ODP riders Dan Pullen (sixth in the junior men) and Charlotte Green (sixth in junior women) reinforced Hayes and Bloomfield’s belief that there are podium prospects amongst the group – but not without hard work.
Add to that the re-instatement of the Academy programme and a world class facility in the National BMX Centre and everything is in place to allow riders to shine. “There hasn’t been a time like this in British BMX in terms of talent coming through,” comments Academy coach and British champion Marcus Boomfield. “We’ve got the Talent Team, Olympic Development Programme and Academy in place, in time we’ll be in a position to deliver more riders to the Podium Programme.
"There hasn’t been a time like this in British BMX in terms of talent coming through."
GB BMX Academy coach and British champion Marcus Boomfield.
“Jeremy has been working with the ODP for a few years. His riders can see a direct link to Podium level. Before the Academy programme was re-instated there was a big jump to Podium. Outsiders can also see an outcome now. I think the Euros showed the work they are putting in behind the scenes is finally paying off. We go into these races and look to build these riders as athletes and as people.
“But it’s important not to get carried away, not to put pressure on these guys. It’s a long term plan - they know we are trying to build them as athletes. We are using events as a stepping stone to Rio 2016, that’s what a lot of them are aiming for.”
Bloomfield’s sentiments are echoed by Olympic Development Programme coach Hayes, who pinpointed the clear pathway for riders from Talent Team to Podium along with the National BMX Centre as catalysts for progression with long-term race programmes now the focus.
“Between coaches we can discuss what riders should be doing and where they should be. We have a good solid group and together with the facility [National BMX Centre]. It brings the whole mood of the programme up,” Hayes assessed.
“It was the first time Dan Pullen had competed abroad and the first time for Quillan in the Euro Series. After the very exciting performances we have a more realistic idea of what they are capable of and the riders themselves have more confidence in themselves and the programme having seen the benefits of their great work in training.
“For example, with Dan Pullen, when we see him make a final as a first year junior, we know he can step up in time. There is Quillan dominating the 15-16 years category in Belgium and Jacob Roberts who is injured at the moment but equally as strong. They’re all going to be in the junior men category next year and that is exciting.
“Our programme riders junior and below are currently racing in higher age groups than they are meant to be in the UK. Looking at performances in Belgium, we can now justify these riders competing abroad, which I believe is important for their development as they need to be competing against and in the environment which they will be expected to perform in the future.”