7 March 2012 | Interview: Scott Hobro
Liam Phillips believes that he is currently at a career fastest as he prepares for the opening round of the 2012 UCI BMX Supercross at Chula Vista, USA, adding that he has felt ‘rejuvenated’ since returning to BMX in late 2011.
The Great Britain BMX rider was in fine form at Caen, France, over the last weekend of February, claiming two wins in the men’s elite and open races in a strong field. The performance came on the back of victory at the second round of the British Series and helped put a frustrating time at rounds seven and eight of the European Series in Belgium, back in January, firmly in the past.
Phillips, who spent six months away from the BMX discipline on the track in 2011, said: “I think my frustration with the Euro Series is probably a sign of how pleased I am with where I am at right now in general. I went there and I was disappointed.
“I was riding well and that’s BMX, unfortunately sometimes you can come away from weekends where results don’t go your way and that weekend was one of those, but overall I’m faster than I’ve ever been by some margin so I’m looking forward to racing the first world cup at Chula Vista.
“I did a lot of work from 2010 to 2011 and then in the first race of the year I ended up getting hurt and there was always a question of what 2011 would have held for me and my season. I’ve come through that. I spent six months on the track and got back on the BMX bike and everything’s heading in the right direction.
“The first world cup is my first big race then two weeks off training then the next world cup [at Randaberg, Norway].”
Philips made the move to the track back in April 2011 with an eye on a team sprint spot, months after suffering multiple fracture injuries on the BMX at the ABA Gator Nationals. He returned to his original discipline in October of that year but revealed that his time away from BMX had given him a chance to reflect and ultimately regain his hunger for the sport.
Asked if his time as part of the track setup has aided him, Phillips commented: “Certainly from a mental point of view. I was able to reevaluate and learn to just enjoy BMX again. I raced for 17 years and I had never missed a season.
“I think that no matter how much you can enjoy thing you can get stale and that was probably the case although I didn’t know that at the time. I feel rejuvenated – that’s probably the best word to describe it.”