Great Britain’s Liam Phillips has returned to full training ahead of the Olympics after recovering from the broken collarbone he suffered at the UCI BMX World Championships in May.
The 23-year-old fell heavily during the first moto heat at the competition in Birmingham on the 26 May, ending his world title hopes after he had claimed a silver medal in the time-trial superfinal on the previous day. The Olympic BMX competition begins on the 8 August with the seeding round.
“I’m back on the bike and doing everything and probably at a higher level than I was expecting,” said Phillips, who is on the British Cycling Olympic Podium Programme.
“It’s very positive. We’ve still got three weeks and it’s very nice to be in the sort of shape I’m in now. We train here at Manchester for a vast amount of time, we’ve got so much data on pre-competitions and we know where we are at three weeks out from competitions so it’s nice to have a gauge and I’m really pleased with where I am at now and hopefully look to build even more so.
“From the injury aspect if the Olympics were tomorrow I would be able to compete at 100% without any issues but moving forward it’s a case that the injury is done as far as I am concerned. In terms of performance and riding my bike it is not something that is playing on my mind. It’s given me the opportunity over the next three weeks to really get stuck in and prepare for a major competition no different than normal.”
“It’s very positive. We’ve still got three weeks and it’s very nice to be in the sort of shape I’m in now."
Olympic BMX coach Grant White admitted he was surprised at the speed of Phillips’ return, adding that the Beijing quarter-finalist is getting better with each training session as the countdown to the Games continues.
“We’re amazed that he’s in the position he’s in now considering he broke his collarbone,” White said.
“Physically I think he is [back to a normal level] and technically it’s almost there and he’s only been on the bike for two weeks now. You wouldn’t expect for the technical stuff to still be right at the top level but session upon session it’s evolved and changed. He’s in a fantastic position now.”
Along with Team GB BMX colleague Shanaze Reade, White added that Phillips is now entering the final phase of heavy training before making the journey to London for the competition.
“We’re here in Manchester the whole time through then we go down on the 4 August, this is our last tough week of training then we start to back things off. This is the best place for us, it’s a world leading facility, we’ve seen this season not just with Liam and Shanaze but even our Academy guys the development you can make here, the consistency of training.”