Get into BMX
Published: 28 May 2014
Written by: Scott Hobro
Great Britain can qualify the maximum places in BMX for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, according to athlete Kyle Evans.
The 20-year-old will race alongside world champion Liam Phillips, Tre Whyte and Charlotte Green this weekend at rounds seven and eight of the UEC European BMX League.
The race in Klazienaveen, Netherlands is the first opportunity for Great Britain to earn points towards spots at the Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
And Evans, a reserve rider for Team GB at London 2012, is adamant the squad can attain the maximum spots on offer for a nation - three in the men's competition and two in the female event.
“I don't see why we shouldn't be aiming for three spots,” Evans from Wigan, said.
“I think if we aim for three spots I think that's the perfect position for us to all aim for and spur us on really and we'll see what happens at the end of qualification period.”
Places are awarded based on UCI Olympic qualification rankings with points given from 31 May 2014 until 30 May 2016.
The top four nations in the men’s rankings receive three places while the highest ranked three nations in the women’s standings take two spots.
Evans expects tough competition in the pursuit of Olympic spaces.
“There are a lot of big countries out there, we are a little bit unfortunate that we don't have as many riders going to events as possible,” Evans said.
“America, France, Australia have got like 20-30 riders going to these events all the time, qualifying points. They are big nations and really it's hard to compete with them.
“But at the same time looking at the squad we have got, we've got girls and guys that are more than likely to develop over the next couple of years and get some good results.”
Further motivation to reach Brazil came after spending the London Olympic Games as a reserve rider to Liam Phillips.
In his role, Evans was able to experience the Olympic Park and village, watching teammate Phillips reach the final in front of a home crowd.
“There was so much going on in the Olympic village and everything that I experienced, it was so much to take in, I could go on forever really about different bits of it,” Evans said.
“When I was out on the track it gave me more of a vision to go off and think ‘that's what I want’, I want to crack down and I want to be in the next Olympics and aiming for that medal really.
“It just spurred me on even more and gave me so much more motivation. I think as well it gave me invaluable experience, to be honest the Olympics is such a massive thing and done on such a huge scale I can see how it can shock a lot of athletes when they go to the Olympic village.
“I'm glad I've had that experience and now I can take that with me and I've got an expectation of what that might be like, it's definitely benefited me.”
After finishing fifth at the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup at Manchester in April, Evans is happy with his current form.
He followed his first world cup final appearance with an exit in the motos stages at the Papendal round earlier this month, where Evans admits he made "too many mistakes and wrong choices".
But at the most vital period of his career, Evans insists he is focussed on the task ahead.
“Training’s been going very well so we're just looking forward to the next couple of races,” Evans said.
“That’s what I got into this sport for - you get hooked on the adrenaline rush in the race and the rush of trying to beat everyone else.
“In a way that's just what I'm on this programme for: to race, do my best and hopefully qualify some spots for GB and go to the Olympics and medal.”