| | |
Great Britain’s Shanaze Reade continued her exceptional form by winning round two of the UCI BMX Supercross in Santiago del Estero.
The three time world champion, who won the opening round of the series in Manchester, finished ahead of Olympic gold medallist Mariana Pajon and Dutch rider Laura Smulders in the elite women’s final in Argentina.
Reade, who had triumphed in Friday’s time trial Superfinal, excelled through the rounds with victory in every race and now leads the overall standings with a flawless record.
Liam Phillips, fifth in Friday’s time trial, suffered a crash with American Donny Robinson in the elite men’s quarter final ending his competition.
The 24-year-old left the track on a stretcher before being taken to hospital for precautionary scans, fortunately with no serious injuries suffered.
“I’m so, so tired but at the same time so happy,” British Cycling Olympic Podium Programme athlete Reade said.
“Obviously when someone’s Olympic champion they have got a target on their back you want to beat them, it makes it all the more special.
“I want to become overall Supercross champion and world champion as well.”
Reade has entered Saturday’s racing undefeated in the series so far and continued the pattern in the moto stages, winning all three heats to go through to the semi finals.
There she again produced a powerful start from the gates to lead into the first corner with Olympic bronze medallist Laura Smulders unable to pass the 24-year-old over the remainder of the course.
In the final Reade came up against her biggest test in Colombian Pajon, who she had narrowly beaten in the Superfinal. Reade took the holeshot but came under pressure from Pajon in the final straight, managing to hold off the 2011 world champion for the victory.
Reade has now won all four finals in the 2013 series with time trial and racing success in April’s Manchester round before her achievements in South America.
Phillips, who had also completed a double win in Manchester, qualified fifth in Friday’s time trial and began the three heats of the moto round with two solid third place finishes before first in the final run confirmed his advancement to the quarter finals.
A strong start from the gates saw the world time trial silver medallist well positioned to get in the top four which would qualify for the semi finals, but a collision with American Robinson on the exit of the first corner sent both riders to the floor.
“I think Shanaze’s starts were a real strong point to her race as well as technically over the rest of the track,” Olympic BMX coach Grant White said.
“She rode really well in the qualification yesterday and in the Superfinal. She was out a bit wider in the final (gate 4) and that was a good challenge for her with Mariana (Pajon) being in lane one and she really stood up to that challenge.
“We are really happy that when it mattered she delivered a very solid start, got herself up front, it’s a good way to control the rest of the race.”
On Liam Phillips, White said: “I spoke to him a short time ago, he was knocked out for 20-30 seconds or thereabouts.
“He was conserving a bit of energy in the first couple of races knowing that as long as he qualified out of the moto it was going to be the time on the third heat that would decide the lane choice for the quarter final.
“Unfortunately he came up against Connor (Fields) in the quarter final and was unable to edge Connor on the first corner. He feels a little short changed as he didn’t get the chance to get stuck in and have a good crack at it.”
The next round of the series takes riders to Papendal, Netherlands before concluding in Chula Vista, USA.