Published: 13 June 2013
Report: Scott Hobro
Video: Simon Powers
Great Britain’s Liam Phillips is ready to bury the disappointment of his Santiago del Estero crash when he travels to the third round of the UCI BMX Supercross in Papendal.
Phillips collided with American Donny Robinson at the quarter final stage in Argentina to end his weekend prematurely, the 24-year-old suffering concussion and requiring elbow surgery.
It left the British Cycling Olympic Podium Programme athlete second in the overall rankings of the four event series, having won both the elite men’s time trial and racing at round one in Manchester.
From 15-16 June the Olympic Training Centre in the Netherlands will offer the chance of redemption for Phillips who can reignite his UCI BMX Supercross title pursuit.
“I was extremely disappointed with how I raced more than anything and how I actually rode my bike in Santiago,” said Phillips, who had finished fifth in the time trial Superfinal in South America.
“It certainly wasn’t anything near the level I had set myself in Manchester at the first world cup.
“I was trying to race smart I think more than anything in Argentina. I had quite a lot left in the tank and wasn’t able to show that, you crash in the knockout round and that’s it. In the quarter finals I didn’t have a very good start. I came out wide and basically everybody come under and I got myself into trouble and that was it, race day done.
“I’m looking forward to going to Papendal and more than anything just riding my bike as best I can.
“If I do that I’d like to think I’d be more successful in Argentina and hopefully put a strong performance together.
“If I could emulate what I did here in the first round that would be mega,” a sanguine Phillips added.
With five weeks between the two rounds, the elbow surgery needed has been a minor disruption on Phillips’ preparations after being left momentarily unconscious in Argentina.
It was followed by a training trip to the Netherlands last week to prepare with the Dutch BMX team, giving Phillips the chance to experience the track first hand before competition.
“Some elbow issues that had been ongoing for some time certainly didn’t get any better after the crash,” Phillips, from Burnham-on-Sea, explained. “The only way forward was to get that addressed, it kept me off the bike for a week or so.
“But apart from that the training between Santiago and Papendal has been almost perfect so I’m looking forward to going there and racing.”
“To go out and get a little time there with the Dutch guys, they’ve come and used our facility on a couple of occasions over the winter so it’s nice to go and ride with them.
“Hopefully that will put me into good stead for the world cup.”
The trip to Papendal will be Phillips’ first competitive appearance at a venue which has been part of the world cup calendar since 2011.
Time spent on the Great Britain Cycling Team track squad meant Phillips missed the 2011 round whilst the closeness of the event to the 2012 BMX world championships in Birmingham meant a decision was taken not to travel.
“Papendal has been on the world cup circuit for quite some time now but I have never actually raced it,” Phillips said.
“It was a big track when the first world cup was there and it’s still a big track now. That was in 2011 when I was on the track and then last year it was two weeks before the world champs so I decided that the best prep for the world championships was to miss that race.
“This will be the first time I get to go there and race and I’m looking forward to it.”