Published: 14 June 2013
The 2013 UCI BMX Supercross reaches its penultimate round at the Olympic Training Centre in Papendal, Netherlands.
Following the withdrawal of Shanaze Reade due to a knee injury, a squad of seven Great Britain riders has made the journey to mainland Europe with Liam Phillips the only British Cycling Olympic Podium Programme athlete.
He is joined by Academy athletes Curtis Manaton, Grant Hill, Kyle Evans, Dan McBride and Tre Whyte with Olympic Development Programme rider Charlotte Green Britain’s sole representative in the women’s contest.
American Connor Fields currently leads the elite men’s standings ahead of Phillips after a time trial-racing double in Santiago del Estero and features on the start list as does 2011 world champion Joris Daudet, third behind Phillips in the rankings.
Unsurprisingly a robust Dutch squad will be present, notable names include London Olympic finalists Raymon van der Biezen and Twan van Gendt as well as Jelle van Gorkom, third in Argentina and fifth overall.
Whilst Phillips will be hoping to reclaim top spot after crashing out in Argentina, for Great Britain’s Academy contingent the aim will be to put in progressive performances, having been in a training block since the Manchester world cup.
“I’m looking forward to going to Papendal and more than anything just riding my bike as best I can,” Phillips told British Cycling.
“If I do that I’d like to think I’d be more successful in Argentina and hopefully put a strong performance together.”
Olympic BMX coach Grant White is looking forward to seeing how the younger athletes handle the demands of world class racing.
“After the world cup in Manchester the way we had structured it was to go into a big block of training,” said White in an interview with British Cycling.
“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.”
Although Reade is unable to compete in the elite women’s competition, the 24-year-old will hold on to the overall lead after scoring maximum points at Manchester and Santiago.
Second place Brooke Cain of the USA is also missing from the start list and though third place Laura Smulders will race in her home country, she is 275 points adrift of Reade with a maximum of 250 points available.
Olympic champion Mariana Pajon makes her second appearance in the series after finishing behind Reade in Santiago with American Arielle Martin set to continue a productive campaign in fourth overall.
For 19-year-old Green, who finished 11th in Manchester, it will just a second ever appearance in the series.
“I just need to learn to be a bit more confident on the hill. I’m getting stronger on the hill so I can actually keep up with the girls,” Green told British Cycling.
“Hopefully in Papendal I have got the confidence to go out there and do just as well.”
Papendal’s BMX Olympic Training Centre was built in 2011 as a facility for the Dutch BMX squad ahead of the London Olympics. Since its construction it has been an ever-present in the UCI BMX Supercross calendar.