Liam Phillips said he is riding is better than ever as he looks to take his fourth consecutive home track victory in the second round of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup today.
The world’s top BMX riders will go head-to-head at Manchester’s National Cycling Centre and qualifying points for the 2016 Rio Olympics are also up for grabs.
Liam, winner of the World Cup series in 2014 and 2015, will be joined by fellow Great Britain Cycling Team members Tre Whyte, Kyle Evans and senior academy rider, Quillan Isidore.
“I’ve had a really good block over the winter and I feel I’m riding my bike as good as I ever have,” Liam told MM.
“I’m just ready to race now, I’m ready to stop the talking and do the bike riding – that’s what I love.”
The 27-year-old is set to face Dutch rider Niek Kimmann, Canada’s Tory Nyhaug, France’s Amidou Mir and the USA’s Corben Sharrah.
“There is pressure but I’m looking forward to getting out there”
— British Cycling (@BritishCycling) April 8, 2016
Liam, who has recently been training in Columbia, hopes to make history with a fourth Supercross win in front of a home crowd.
“There are loads of different components and elements to the sport that make up the ultimate BMXer, and it’s about being good at all of them,” he said.
“The difference between getting a jump absolutely spot-on and it not being right is such a small, small margin here that it just makes it one of the most difficult tracks in the world.
“If you go to other tracks the jumps can still be the same size but the take-offs and landings are more forgiving you can afford to make more mistakes and still carry as much speed.
“Here, if you make a mistake, you just lose all your speed.”
The rider said that he is confident of his chances today and will not be concentrating too much on his rivals.
“I know there are certainly athletes that do pay attention to each other but it’s not something that I do,” Liam said.
“I’m quite conscious to make sure that I’m just focussing on myself – ultimately you’re up there by yourself and it’s about you delivering what you’re capable of.
“You can be caught up in a crash and it can end your race but it’s all just part of racing.
“My game plan is always the same, it’s to have a good start and get out front.
“If you’re out front on your own there’s a lot less chance of getting caught up in other people’s mistakes.
Liam, who relocated to Manchester to be closer to the track, added that the sport seems to be getting more popular in the city with every event.
“You get people through the doors who come back every year, they love it,” he said.
“I think the key thing is how frequent the racing is.
“It’s not like you have a race and then have to wait an hour to see another one its literally just bang bang.
The BMXer added that he thinks the BMX Arena, the only permanent indoor BMX facility in the world, will help create a new wave of cycling champions.
“Having this facility in Manchester is a testament to how keen Manchester City Council and all of the partners are to have invested a huge amount of money to build this facility,” he said.
“It’ll take kids off the streets and turn them into Olympic champions, so it’s worth every penny.”