BMX Supercross World Cup: Liam Phillips has plenty left to prove

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
BMX World Cup: Liam Phillips aims for world domination

Olympic BMX rider Liam Phillips still has "lessons to learn" despite claiming World Championship and overall World Cup titles in the last two years.

Phillips, 26, the 2013 World Champion, begins the defence of his World Cup supercross crown in Manchester on Saturday.

His long-term target is to become GB's first-ever BMX Olympic gold medallist at the Rio 2016 Games.

"I want to be the best all-round BMX rider," he told BBC Sport.

"I have already proved I can win from the front with a great start, but I still have lessons to learn in terms of showing I can pass people when I'm behind."

Phillips, who has won the World Cup in Manchester for the past two seasons, is part of a five-strong British squad, which also includes World Championship bronze medallist Tre Whyte.

It is the first event since three-time world champion Shanaze Reade revealed she was leaving the sport and returning to the British track cycling squad.

Liam Phillips
Taunton-born Phillips crashed at the London 2012 Olympic final

"Shanaze has done so much for this sport in our country, but our stories are completely different," said Phillips.

"She had success much earlier on at a time when I wasn't even in the top 50 in the world, but now I want to kick on and become the best in the world."

Phillips continued: "Being world champion was something I dreamt of ever since I was a kid, but to be Olympic champion - well that thought just gives me goose bumps."

Results at each of the World Cup events and World Championships will help determine how many riders Britain qualifies for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Charlotte Green - ranked 12th in the world - is on course to be Britain's only female representative, but the GB men's combined ranking puts them fifth.

However, for them to attain the maximum of three male places they must be in the world top four at the end of the Olympic qualification period in May 2016.

British squad: Kyle Evans, Quillan Isidore, Liam Phillips, Tre Whyte, Charlotte Green.