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The 2013 UCI BMX Supercross season visits Santiago del Estero for round two with Great Britain represented by Manchester winners Liam Phillips and Shanaze Reade.
After the highs of winning both the time trial and Supercross racing on the world class National BMX Centre track which acts as their training base, Phillips and Reade will aim to maintain their respective series leads in Argentina, the first time the world cup has visited South America.
That fact is reflected in both the elite men’s and women’s fields, with a strong contingent of Argentinean, Colombian, Brazilian, Ecuadorian and Venezuelan riders on the starts lists.
In the men’s competition, Colombia’s London Olympic bronze medallist Carlos Oquendo makes his first outing after opting to miss Manchester though Andrés Jiménez Caicedo, also a finalist in London, will not feature.
The absences of Canada’s Tory Nyhaug and Australian Sam Willoughby - the duo were second and third respectively at round one - gives Phillips the opportunity to extend his advantage in the overall standings.
1. Shanaze Reade GBR 250pts
2. Brooke Crain USA 185pts
3. Merle van Benthem NED 170pts
But American Connor Fields, Dutch Olympic finalists Twan van Gendt and Raymon van der Biezen and French 2011 world champion Joris Daudet will ensure any victory will not be a formality.
Renato Rezende, the only South American in the overall top 10, will endeavour to better his result from Manchester in his home continent.
“We’ve never raced a world cup there, it was built in 2011. I’ve raced in Argentina before as a kid but this is a new stop on the world cup circuit,” Great Britain’s Liam Phillips told British Cycling ahead of the event.
“A lot of the South American riders are very good technically, BMX is quite strong is those parts of the world, if you look at Colombia they won medals in both the men’s and women’s [Olympics] and they are good technically on the bike.”
Alongside Shanaze Reade, the presence of American Brooke Crain and Dutch rider Merle van Benthem ensures the full podium from Manchester will be in attendance in the elite women’s event.
The notable name on the start list however is Olympic champion Mariana Pajón, making her 2013 UCI BMX Supercross bow. The 21-year-old ‘Queen of BMX’ won Colombia’s first gold medal in London though her form this year is somewhat of an unknown.
1. Liam Phillips GBR 250pts
2. Tory Nyhaug CAN 200pts
3. Sam Willoughby AUS 149pts
Netherlands rider Laura Smulders, only seventeenth in round one and France’s Eva Ailloud, seventh, add to a small but competitive field.
“My philosophy going into the race in Argentina is to try and repeat that again and that would give us quite a lot of points. I’ve never won the Supercross series,” Reade said in an interview with British Cycling.
“It would be good to show that consistency, that it’s not just in Manchester but at other tracks. I’d be delighted to go for the overall win.”
Friday will see the time trial qualifying and Superfinals take place before the racing on Saturday.
British Cycling will be reporting from the Santiago del Estero UCI BMX Supercross from 10-11 May with live video of the event on the site.