BMX queen remains upbeat despite rough return to track cycling

By Ryan Bangs, Sportsbeat

MANCHESTER’S Shanaze Reade concedes selection for next month’s World Track Championships in the Netherlands may not be forthcoming – but insists she won’t be losing any sleep over the decision.

The 22-year-old returned to the track for the first time in two years at the Manchester World Cup last weekend but enjoyed a baptism of fire with team sprint partner Victoria Pendleton.

The pair suffered a false start in the qualifying rounds before Reade was dropped by her mechanic in lining up again as they failed to qualify for the medal races finishing eighth.

British rivals Jess Varnish and Becky James rubbed salt in the wounds by narrowly missing out on bronze to France, with the former laying down a World Championship marker in doing so.

HELPING HAND: Shanaze Reade with children from Monton Street Residents Forum at a community garden owned by City South Housing Trust Hulme, Manchester as part of the Cadbury’s Spots v Stripes campaign

Varnish broke the British record, held by Reade, for the opening lap and should that lead to her joining Pendleton in Apeldoorn, Reade, the multi-track and BMX world champion, won’t be phased either way.

“It was amazing to return to the track and I really, really enjoyed it. I have been really, really ahead of target but the race in Manchester didn’t highlight that,” said Reade – speaking on behalf of the Cadbury’s Spots v Stripes campaign.

“The false start and then being dropped by the mechanic wasn’t the ideal preparation going in and I had already gone half a second faster than I did the week beforehand.

“I wanted to go in, return back to the track and that was the first step along the way to the Olympic Games. I achieved that, I didn’t achieve the time I wanted to but it is a step along the way.

“Who knows now who is going to race at the World Track Championships? We are sitting on our hands at the moment waiting as selections are announced around March 10.

“I will know more then if I have been selected or not, either way Jess is a fantastic athlete and I just want the best team to be put forward and that combination might not involve me.”

HOOPFUL: Shanaze Reade admits her failure to medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 is behind her as she targets double gold in 2012

No matter what the outcome Reade is gearing herself up for a return to the BMX track having not ridden since injuring her wrist on the way to retaining her world title last year.

She has been public with her bid for track gold as well as BMX at the London 2012 Olympics after the schedule, released earlier this month, allows the achievement to be possible.

Reade suffered well-documented heartache at the Olympics in 2008 crashing out of the final in Beijing but insists such disappointment is well and truly behind her.

“Being successful in both the track and BMX at the Olympics will be about planning and really getting that planning right,” added Reade.

“I feel I have matured a lot since the last Olympics and really grown up and I feel like I can cope with the pressure so I just want to enjoy the journey.

“It was difficult initially after the last Olympics because I was thinking ‘have a still got a career in the sport?’ I was demoralised and I thought ‘is it worth it?’

“But a lot of people helped pick me back up and now I just want to look forward to the next event, which might be the World Track Championships or the BMX World Cup.

“I want to just enjoy every moment of it, I am way ahead of target, I am improving every year as an athlete and as a person and I am just enjoying it all.”

Shanaze Reade, a proud Stripe and BMX World Champion and Track Cycling Champion, is playing her way to London 2012 with Cadbury Spots v Stripes. To join in the game, go to

Related Articles