British Olympic hopes Shanaze Reade and Liam Phillips both made it through to their respective BMX finals on Friday after sharp riding in the semi-finals, but could not fight their way through to a podium place in the finale.

Reade suffered from a slow start and was left to play catch-up all around the final run. In the end, she couldn’t bridge up to the leaders and Colombian Mariana Pajon took her country’s first gold of the Games. Sarah Walker (New Zealand) took silver, with Laura Smulders (Netherlands) in the bronze medal position.

“I did everything I could. It’s fantastic everyone’s come out and supported me. I’m just gutted I didn’t get a medal,” Reade said.

“I felt like I was fast enough and I’d done all my work I needed to. Unfortunately I just didn’t get the start I wanted or needed to win the race and that was it. I backed back a little bit and by the time I did that, I was on the inside, so everybody was closing in and I couldn’t come back from that.”

“I can’t thank all these people enough for coming out and supporting me.”

Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osbourne and David Beckham were among those who’d come to see Reade and Phillips’s medal challenge.

Phillips had a great start and briefly led the race into the first set of jumps. However, part-way around the course his pedal unclipped and he lost control of his bike, crashing out. He remounted to finish in last place.

“[Someone] clipped my front wheel. I made the decision to either risk it and keep both my feet in or take my foot out, stay upright there and hopefully get my foot back in,” he said. “you get a split second to make a decision unfortunately I made the wrong one.”

Phillips crashed and broke his collarbone in hte BMX world championships in Birmingham ten weeks ago. “I’m really pleased with the way I rode. I certainly put

my hat in the ring, went out there to win it, unfortunately I got beat to the

first turn and got caught up in a bit of carnage, but I’m not going to lose too

much sleep, I’m really pleased with the way I rode and I thoroughly enjoyed

every minute.”

“I loved racing yesterday, I couldn’t wait to get out here today, you’ve got 6,000 people who’ve paid to be here. Everyone’s cheering for me. For a sport I’ve been involved in since I was five years old, it’s mind blowing really. The crowd were phenomenal and I loved it.”

Defending Olympic champion Maris Strombergs (Latvia) again came up with the goods when it mattered, scopping the gold. Sam Willoughby (Australia) placed second, with Carlos Oquendo giving Colombia its second BMX medal of the day with bronze.

A few minutes after the medals had been won, Phillips picked himself up off the tarmac and rode in to the finish. “There’s no way I wasn’t going to finish that race. I wasn’t hurt so why not. I’m not a bad sport. You crash, but you get back up, you’ve got to finish the lap.”

Women’s final, with Shanaze Reade (12)

Liam Phillips (65)

Phillips makes his way to the finish after crashing in the final

Related links

London 2012 cycling events medal table

London 2012 Olympic Games: Coverage index

  • Heba

    Interesting stuff in that top photo, found while I was cleaning up my poenrsal copy in Photoshop.At the top right corner a football goalpost is visible, and it appears to be next to the trees that lined Harris Gulley.And just above the tops of the trees on the left, there is the ghost of a crane and some columns could they have been working on the old stadium or something just past it?Without searching, I have no idea when the first stadium was built.

  • Hadyn Bosher @ 78 in Thailand

    That’s not bike racing,too much time in the air,pathetic!!, and these are ”grown-ups”,o.k for kids,and “the gear”!!

  • William Hirst

    Here is another thought Shanazae, ever thought about mountain biking? You need handling skills like in bmx racing and also powerful legs to get up the steep inclines involved in mountain biking, plus mountain biking has become the one cycling event in the Olympics that Britain doesn’t have much in the way of a medal hope. Worth a try.

  • William Hirst

    Shanaze, the future is high pressure 700c. You got the rainbow jersey in the team sprint on your first attempt, think what you will be able to do in Rio.

  • Stuart Stanton

    yes well/…………why aren’t you covering the trial of the motorist accused of knocking down paralympian Simon Richardson and leving him for dead? Antyone readiong this look at for the full horror story

  • Terry

    Shanaze, go back to the team sprint, there’s a gap to be filled now Queen Victoria has retired.