Published: 15 April 2013
Report: Scott Hobro
Video: Eddie Allen/Simon Powers
Great Britain BMX rider Abbie Taylor is determined to build on her strong finish to 2012 when the opening round of the 2013 UCI BMX Supercross takes place in Manchester.
Taylor, a reserve for Team GB at the London Olympic Games, took a career best third place in Abbotsford last September at the final round of the 2012 series in a field which included Australian Caroline Buchanan, the world time-trial champion.
Prior to that, British Cycling Olympic Academy Programme rider Taylor had made her first appearance in the elite women’s category at the 2012 world championships, bowing out in the quarter-finals at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.
With Great Britain’s training home, the National BMX Centre, hosting the 2013 curtain raiser it is an opportune time for the 19-year-old to carry the momentum of 2012 into the Rio Olympic cycle.
“After getting third in the Abbotsford world cup I just want to match it or even do better as I had a very lucky race. I got lucky so I want to prove I can do it again and do better,” said Taylor, who alongside Shanaze Reade will compete in the elite women's category for Great Britain.
“It’s important I get a fantastic start, get things rolling really and give myself confidence for the rest of the season so I can keep performing well and set a bar for myself.
“I can’t wait to hear the home crowd, the atmosphere and to give them a good show really. I’d really like to get to the final here.”
A back problem ruled Taylor out of March’s first round of the British BMX Series, also in Manchester, before she missed the UEC BMX European Series rounds one and two, instead continuing her preparations with a training programme at the team’s base.
“I didn’t want to make the back injury worse, with the world cup coming up I want to be the best I can be for that,” Taylor said.
A silver medallist as a junior in the 2011 UCI BMX World Championships, Taylor will be an integral element for Great Britain as it aims to qualify the maximum two places for the women’s BMX event in Rio.
A significant factor in her brisk development thus far has been the re-establishment of British Cycling’s Olympic BMX Academy in 2011, allowing riders to train full-time at an indoor venue.
“Since joining the Academy and getting to ride here every day, it’s fantastic,” Taylor beamed.
“All the staff are making us faster. The facility is amazing and as a rider, it’s more the factors of the weather in this country, being able to ride whenever we like, whatever time.
“More time on the hill just makes you more consistent, you get used to it and it just comes natural to you when you do it in a race.
“I enjoy too many things about BMX – the racing, the jumps, being close to people, everything, the fun of it, the atmosphere. The drive comes from wanting to win, wanting to be the best in the world.”