BMX Supercross World Cup: Liam Phillips seeks 'remarkable' repeat

By Tim HagueBBC Sports News
Phillips to lead UK team at BMX worlds

World champion Liam Phillips will seek to repeat his "remarkable" 2013 when the new BMX Supercross World Cup season starts in Manchester on Friday.

Phillips, who won the world title in New Zealand last August, leads the British team racing at the National BMX Centre over two days.

"With the first World Cup in my own backyard, it's a good place to start the season," said the 25-year-old.

Phillips will take on double Olympic champion Maris Strombergs of Latvia.

The Manchester-based rider, who crashed out in the Olympic final at London 2012, has struggled with serious injuries in the past but was not hindered by any such problems in 2013.

"Last year was the first in five or six years that I was actually injury free," he said. "There came a point in my career where I wasn't able to deal with the injuries. I was working hard but would then ultimately get hurt.

"The injury I can deal with, but the hardest part is being away from the bike - because that's what I love to do."

Phillips, who intends to compete until at least the Rio Olympics in 2016, hopes to inspire more youngsters to take up the sport, and says there's no finer form of cycling for children than BMX.

"I've been very vocal about this, because I believe there isn't a better entry-level cycling sport than BMX," he said.

"It gives you everything you need. If a kid gets to 12 or 13 years old and decides he wants to be a track cyclist, a road cyclist, or any form of cyclist, the grounding the sport of BMX will provide is second to none."

Phillips, who will race in the world champion's rainbow jersey, will be joined by Kyle Evans, Tre White, Charlotte Green and Abbie Taylor in Britain's five-strong elite squad in Manchester.