British Cycling Olympic BMX coach Grant White believes a tough test awaits Great Britain’s young athletes at the Papendal UCI BMX Supercross.
British Cycling Olympic Academy Programme riders Curtis Manaton, Grant Hill, Kyle Evans, Dan McBride, Tre Whyte plus the Olympic Development Programme’s Charlotte Green were all named for the third round of the competition in the Netherlands.
The group’s last world cup outing came in April at their training base, Manchester’s indoor National BMX Centre, in the opening round of 2013.
But at Papendal’s Olympic Training Centre riders will have to contest with the elements on an outdoor track which is significantly longer and wider than Manchester, which White thinks will bring a different kind of challenge.
“It’s a great opportunity. After the world cup in Manchester the way we had structured it was to go into a big block of training,” White said.
“Now it’s time to go and look at the world cup level and where they are at. We want to see how they adapt to a new track and have them all on a level playing field, seeing what their adaptation skills are like.
“We’ve been doing some different things here at the National BMX Centre to replicate some of the tests they are going to face.”
“Now it’s time to go and look at the world cup level and where they are at. We want to see how they adapt to a new track and have them all on a level playing field."
Olympic BMX coach Grant White
Evans, Whyte and McBride made the quarter finals in Manchester with Manaton exiting in the motos and an unfortunate Hill crashing out in the time trial qualifying. In the women’s discipline Green progressed to the semi finals as Liam Phillips and Shanaze Reade won their respective events.
Abbie Taylor, eighth in Manchester, will not be present with an ongoing back injury ruling her out.
“Unfortunately Abbie Taylor has a lower back injury which she had been struggling with for quite awhile even before the Manchester world cup so it got to a point where she has had to have a little time out and some other investigations on that,” White explained.
“Then we’ve got Charlotte Green who has made some progression over the past few months, enough to say ‘let’s give her a taste of another world cup’. She did fairly well here at the Manchester world cup.”
White also backed Liam Phillips to eradicate the disappointment of Santiago, where the 24-year-old crashed out in the quarter finals after colliding with American Donny Robinson.
Phillips, who is third in the overall UCI BMX Supercross standings, suffered concussion as well as requiring surgery on his elbow but White has been impressed by his training ahead of the meeting.
“Unfortunately because of his crash he then had surgery on his elbow which was a small operation,” White said.
“But that was a week to two weeks of modified training.
“It wasn’t the ideal period but his form, taking all that into consideration, it’s quite good at the moment in a surprising way so we are looking forward to going and performing strongly.
“We learned a few things at the Argentina world cup, BMX athletes are always learning things so he’s looking forward to another opportunity to put some of those things into practice.
“It’s a great track out in Papendal, he’s never raced it before so he’s looking forward to it.”
The event is the last major meeting before July’s UCI BMX World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand.
Selection is due to take place after the weekend’s racing which will play an important part in deciding who makes the trip to the Southern Hemisphere.
“The Academy have all had one world cup that they have competed at this year and this will be their second world cup,” Grant said.
“They’ll be the races we look at as the highest priority because the world championships is off the eight metre hill and that’s what the Olympic discipline is.
“We’ll also factor in their training performances, they have raced a couple of UK races and we’ll look at that but definitely Papendal as well as the Manchester world cup will be the two that are the strongest considerations.
“But we know that the Academy athletes have a period of time before they are true contenders at that world level, our podium athletes are a little different but we’ll certainly consider all the facts.”