British Cycling has today announced that four-time BMX world champion Shanaze Reade will be taking time out of the Olympic Podium Programme to focus on the ABA BMX Series in America during 2014.
"I’m very grateful for all the support I’ve received over the years from British Cycling, my sponsors and my fans and it’s been great to have them on my journey so far."
Reade, who won the team sprint world champion title on the track in 2007 and 2008 with Victoria Pendleton as well as her four BMX world championship titles, won the first two rounds of the 2013 BMX Supercross World Cup Series and remained unbeaten before a knee injury forced her to withdraw from competing for the rest of the season.
Speaking of her decision, Shanaze Reade said: “Whilst I’m sad to temporarily move away from the GB Cycling Team, I’m also excited by the opportunity to race on the pro scene in America. My ultimate goal is to win an Olympic gold medal, and I think my move to the ABA BMX series will help achieve this.
"I will be racing more frequently against world-class competition and I will be able to refine my technical skills in competitive race conditions. I’m very grateful for all the support I’ve received over the years from British Cycling, my sponsors and my fans and it’s been great to have them on my journey so far.
"I’m looking forward to gaining more race experience out in America and using this in my campaign for Rio. British Cycling have given the decision their full backing as I continue to develop as an athlete and it is great to know I am able to return at any point in the future”
Head Coach Shane Sutton said: “Shanaze has British Cycling’s full support to leave the programme to spend some time competing on the US circuit. Both I and her coach, Grant White, believe the experience she gains out there will be beneficial to her long-term Olympic ambitions.
"The door is always open to her as and when she decides to return to BMX Supercross. Shanaze has been a real asset to us over the years and she is an inspiration to youngsters which has always been great to see.
"On behalf of the GB Cycling Team, I’d like to thank her for what she’s done for the sport of BMX and wish her the best of luck on the next part of her career.”