Published: 19 April 2012
Report: Scott Hobro
Image: Spencer Moret
Marcus Bloomfield has paid recognition to the progress being made by Great Britain’s BMX Academy riders ahead of this weekend’s National BMX Series.
Tre Whyte in action at the UEC European Series
Rounds four and five take the series to Perry Park in Birmingham where all the Academy riders, coached by Bloomfield, will compete minus Daniel McBride, who will miss out after sustaining a broken collarbone in the Randaberg, Norway leg of the UCI BMX Supercross last weekend.
The series has so far provided a good foundation for riders on the programme to develop their potential. In addition to domestic experience, the riders have faced tests internationally in a world-class field. Visits to the UEC European Series in addition to more recent trips to Chula Vista and Randaberg for the opening two events of UCI BMX Supercross series have provided a challenge but in return for a ‘priceless’ commodity for the youngsters – experience.
Results including a top 10 finish in the time trial superfinal for Abbie Taylor and progression to the last 64 for Kyle Evans have given Bloomfield plenty of optimism.
“They’ve all done personal bests leading into the last race [at Randaberg] - not just at the bottom of the hill but from a lap point of view as well. Two of the guys, Tre Whyte and Kyle Evans, got selected to go to Chula Vista.
"When I look at them race in video or first-hand the reason I can analyse it is that I know what they are going through. When they say ‘it’s getting close down the straight’ I know what it feels like to be in that position."
“From an experience point of view you’ve got a big field of depth there – it’s one of the best tracks in the world and to be amongst that, the experience you get is huge. You can’t out a price on that and in Norway we had the whole team there.
“For any of these riders at the moment just going through time trial is tough but once they do that you just go out and get as much experience as possible in the racing, learn from it and use it when you come back in training to get better, faster, stronger for the next race. If you go to these races and don’t learn from it it’s almost pointless going there in the first place.
Bloomfield, British Cycling’s BMX Academy coach, will himself compete at Perry Park, coming up against the riders he works with on a regular basis. Despite confessing to only riding this year’s series out of ‘love of the sport’, the 31-year-old currently tops the elite standings.
When asked whether it is easier to assess a race he has competed in alongside the Academy riders, Bloomfield said: “I wouldn’t say it’s easier or more difficult. When I look at them race in video or first-hand the reason I can analyse it is that I know what they are going through. When they say ‘it’s getting close down the straight’ I know what it feels like to be in that position.
“Also when riding with them on Saturdays doing supercross I can see what I’m getting them to do during the week. I’ve been through what they’re going through - starting off as an athlete and working from the ground up which is what ultimately they’re all trying to do to get to where they want to be in the future.”
“The Academy as a whole has moved forward massively. I think we are very fortunate here to have the indoor centre and timing systems all over the track so we know when they do full laps and any effort that we want them to do we can set a clock to it.
“From a coach’s point of view it is perfect but from the riders’ point of view it’s brilliant because they know they are getting looked at in that much detail - there is no time to let up.”