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Olympic BMX: GB's Shanaze Reade and Liam Phillips get their campaigns safely under way today

Reade posts fifth quickest time in time trial for semi-final seedings, Philips 12th quickest ahead of quarter finals in men's event...

The London 2012 road and track action may be over, but there are still four Olympic gold medals to be decided in cycling, two each in the mountain bike and BMX competitions. Great Britain has high hopes for Shanaze Reade and Liam Phillips in the latter, and both got their campaigns under way today as they went against the clock in the seeding phase of their respective competitions.

Reade, three times BMX world champion, was a strong favourite to take gold in Beijing, where the discipline made its Olympic debut, but crashed out in the final after clipping the rear wheel of winner Anne-Caroline Chausson of France.

Today, the 23-year-old from Crewe posted the fifth-fastest time of the 16 riders competing in the women’s event at London 2012, completing the course in 39.368 seconds in today’s individual ride, which will be used to ensure that the fastest riders are kept apart in Friday’s semi-finals.

Australia’s Caroline Buchanan, who beat Reade to the world BMX time trial championship in the world championships in Birmingham in May – the Briton would subsequently be eliminated in the quarter final after crashing – went quickest in 38.434sec, with New Zealand’s Sarah Walker posting the second fastest time today.

“It felt good, Reade said afterwards. “The first time you go out you're always going to be a bit rusty but it was great to compete in front of the home crowd.

"I've been sitting around watching all the Olympic titles being won in the velodrome,” added Reade, who twice partnered Victoria Pendleton to world championship gold in the team sprint. “I'm just glad to be out and competing myself."

In the men’s event, where 32 riders are competing, Phillips for a while held the quickest time of 38.719 seconds but eventually finished 12th, with the quickest time being set by Raymon van der Biezen of the Netherlands, who went round in 37.779 seconds.

Like Reade, Phillips had posted the second fastest time trial at those world championships in Birmingham, although he too would crash and with more serious consequences, breaking his collarbone.

“The track is fantastic, absolutely fantastic, it's Olympic standard,” he enthused after today’s ride. "I love it. This is the sort of the level that all the athletes want to play at, it's not over and above what the test event was.

“The test event [course] was stupid as far as I'm concerned. I didn't race, but I came and watched. It was just too much, whereas this is perfect," added Phillips, who took a break from BMX last year in an attempt to follow the route previously taken by Jamie Staff into the men's track team sprint squad for the role eventually taken by Philip Hindes.

Phillips progresses to the men’s quarter-final tomorrow, while like the women’s event, the semi-finals and final will both take place on Friday, with the action starting at 3pm.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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joemmo | 11 years ago

quite a lot of them use clipless pedals with a platform like the shimano DX spds. The platform helps guide your foot into the clip and gives a bit more support & grip if you can't get clipped in. Got some on my MTB and they're ace.

steff | 11 years ago

One rider unclipped on the start ramp and there was a slo-mo closeup. Looked like ATAC or similar MTB pedals - two little wire loops.

Gkam84 | 11 years ago

To be totally honest, I don't really enjoy watching the time ranking part. I do like the racing though.

Maybe one of you guys in the office could do a little research, make a couple of calls. Do a little write up on the tech on show on one of the top BMX'ers.

I am mainly interested to find out, are those road shoes they are using, looked like it and what kind of pedals, road or MTB??  39

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