Published: 23 September 2013
Report: Scott Hobro
Great Britain’s Tre Whyte has set his sights on a career best semi final place at the UCI BMX Supercross but admits the series represents a ‘massive step up’.
The 19-year-old from Peckham, London, is one of four Britons who have travelled to the United States Olympic Training Centre in California for the final event in the 2013 series, taking place from 27-28 September.
British Cycling Olympic Academy Programme athlete Whyte will race in a world class field which includes reigning world champions Connor Fields and teammate Liam Phillips.
The competition gives Great Britain's next generation of athletes insight and experience of the demands at the highest level.
“When I’m racing nationals I’m racing guys I train with every day so you know where you are at, you’re more comfortable,” said Whyte, who finished sixth at the recent British BMX Championships.
“But when you get out to European and world cup standard it’s a whole different ball game. Mentally and physically you have to step up, in the nationals you step up trying to win, when we go out to world cups we don’t go out there thinking we are going to win this yet because realistically we are not at that level yet.
“But we have to step up to get the semis, to make it through the motos and even they’re hard so, it’s a big level.”
Whyte reached the quarter final stages at his home round in Manchester in April before missing the trip to Santiago del Estero in May.
He was set to compete in Papendal in June but an elbow injury sustained on the first day of training ended any ambitions of competing in the Netherlands, much to Whyte’s dismay.
Having since recovered fully from the setback, he has been able to complete a solid block of training ahead of the trip.
“That’s probably the most frustrated I’ve been,” Whyte said of Papendal. “You get out there and I crashed on my second lap. I didn’t get to the do the pro section, the hills or the gates. It was pretty bad.
“Training wise I’ve been doing everything I can, it’s been going good. It’s just performing when you are out there In the racing you’ve got to go in with the right head but training and preparation has been good.
“I’d like to get into that top 20-25 in the time trial. Because it’s Chula Vista everyone goes, all the Americans are going to be quick so it’s going to be harder. Racing wise I want to make the semis. Here (Manchester) I made the quarter and on the first turn messed up a bit so semis is what I’m heading for.”
Great Britain’s training base at the National BMX Centre has recently undergone the first stage of alterations which will see the track move closer to Olympic standard ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Having used the facility since 2011, when the British Cycling Olympic BMX Academy Programme was reinstated, Whyte is enthused by the latest development.
“It’s amazing,” Whyte said of the Great Britain setup. “The track is being changed, we’re riding against each other all day, and we’ve got the world champion who we ride against. It’s moving forward all the time."