Road To 2012
UCI BMX Supercross World Cup Round 2 Randaberg, Norway
Posted 14 April 2012
Words And Photography By Luke Webber
British Cycling Olympic Podium Programme athlete Liam Phillips confirmed he is on track for the 2012 Olympics at round two of the BMX World Cup in Randaberg, Norway.
Phillips finished second in the Time Trial Superfinal and qualified for the final of the Supercross with five consecutive wins, however an unclipped pedal in the first straight meant he was in fifth on the first straight.
A great recovery in the first turn - missing crashes - moved him into second and he reached the final turn in third. But another pedal slip on the face of the first jump of the last straight caused Phillips to crash spectacularly over the bars, taking out Tory Nyhaug in the process.
Despite a relatively disappointing result, the race weekend was confirmation that Phillips was back on course for the target of an Olympic medal in London after a long journey back to the sport he left one year ago.
Randaberg was only Phillips' third final in a World Cup, having first risen to prominance in Spring 2010, making his first main in Copenhagen and finishing second.
From that moment however, Phillips' racing career only got harder - a poor showing at the World Championships was punctuated by a second final appearance in Frejus, before a big crash in the first race of 2011 left Phillips with an enforced break and a change of focus.
Phillips left BMX racing and joined the British Cycling Olympic Academy on the velodrome as part of the sprint squad. Six months on and with a new indoor supercross track complete across the coridoor of the National Cycling Centre, Phillips was tempted back to BMX and trained throughout winter for a return to competition.
The first World Cup of 2012 started with a seventh in the Time Trial Superfinal, over a second off of winner Connor Fields, with a quarter-final exit in the Supercross competition.
British Cycling's Olympic BMX Coach Grant White retained confidence in Phillips however and described his form in the week before the Randaberg World Cup.
"We’d seen enough in round one to say that Liam could do quite well, however it didn’t happen; but the beauty about this is that it’s only two weeks from Chula to Norway so now he gets the opportunity to race again. It was good to get his feet back into the water so to speak. He hadn’t raced a World Cup for a long time because he had missed all of last season. I think he has shown he has got a good package there he just needs to deliver it and we’re fairly confident he will go to Norway and do that."
In haunting style Phillips did just that, steadily improving his times throughout the weekend before second in the Time Trial Superfinal, before qualifying first in every heat and every final of the Supercross. In the main final Phillips seemed to have all his back luck in one hit, but overall the weekend vindicated his decision to return to BMX racing just six months ago.
UCI BMX Supercross World Cup Round 2
1 FIELDS Connor USA 1 32.063
2 WILLOUGHBY Sam AUS 3 32.065
3 OQUENDO ZABALA Carlos Mario COL 5 33.482
4 CALEYRON Quentin FRA 7 33.570
5 KIRKHAM Brian AUS 6 34.623
6 PHILLIPS Liam GBR 2 57.290
7 NYHAUG Tory CAN 4 1:01.596
8 YOUNG Khalen AUS 8 DNF
Men's Qualification Heats
1 van der BIEZEN Raymon NED Q
2 KIRKHAM Brian AUS Q
3 TEULLET Denis FRA Q
4 de VECCHI Manuel ITA Q
5 EVANS Kyle GBR
6 DUCHENE Simon FRA
7 van de WETERING Glenn NED
8 LAPRAZ Yvan SUI 3
Women's Qualification Heats
1 WALKER Sarah NZL Q
2 le CORGUILLE Laetitia FRA Q
3 McLEOD Melinda AUS Q
4 HLADIKOVA Aneta CZE Q
5 le CORGUILLE Audrey FRA
6 KLAUS Lieke NED
7 TAYLOR Abbie GBR
8 QUINALHA Bianca BRA
UCI BMX Time Trial Superfinal World Cup Round 2
Elite Men Time Trial Superfinal
1 FIELDS Connor USA 32.134
2 PHILLIPS Liam GBR 32.383
3 DAUDET Joris FRA 32.484
Elite Men Time Trial qualification
1 FIELDS Connor USA 32.249 Q
2 AGUILUZ Andre Fossa NOR 32.535 Q
3 NYHAUG Tory CAN 32.607 Q
6 PHILLIPS Liam GBR 32.792 Q
25 EVANS Kyle GBR 33.402 Q
76 WHYTE Tre GBR 34.257
83 MANATON Curtis GBR 34.479
108 HILL Grant GBR 35.679
Elite Women Time Trial Superfinal
1 BUCHANAN Caroline AUS 36.761
2 LE CORGUILLE Laetitia FRA 36.812
3 CRAIN Brooke USA 37.136
10 TAYLOR Abbie GBR 37.578
Elite Women Time Trial Qualification
1 LE CORGUILLE Laetitia FRA 36.906
2 BUCHANAN Caroline AUS 37.106
3 HORAKOVA Jana CZE 37.441
11 TAYLOR Abbie GBR 37.943