Throughout December we will be revealing Cycling Weekly‘s top 50 British riders of the year.
We will be revealing the final top ten in this year’s list of top 50 British Riders in the December 25 issue of Cycling Weekly magazine.
NO. 15: SHANAZE READE
Shanaze Reade was one of the hottest favourites to win gold at the Olympics in Beijing. It was almost taken as read that she would win the women?s BMX crown.
She had, after all, dominated the sport for the past two years, and was unstoppable in the World Championships final a few months earlier.
Part of Reade?s appeal is her all-or-nothing style, and no one, least of all her, would have changed her approach. She wanted to win gold, or go down in a blaze of glory trying. For her, silver was not an option.
She crashed in the first qualifying run but regained her composure to set the second fastest time in her next run. She crashed again in the semi-final but accumulated enough points in the three heats to make the final.
Well-placed to make her move in the final, she suddenly found her front wheel the wrong side of Anne-Caroline Chausson?s back wheel and went down again on the final berm.
So, the Olympics eluded her, but that does not detract from the fact that she had a superb year.
World champion in two different events, the BMX and the team sprint on the track, which she won in Manchester with Victoria Pendleton, proves she is one of the most versatile women sprinters in the world. The only question now is in which direction she chooses to take her career between now and London 2012.
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RIDERS REVEALED SO FAR
December 19: No. 16 Paul Manning
December 18: No. 17 Sarah Storey
December 17: No. 18 Ross Edgar
December 16: No. 20 Chris Newton and 19 Wendy Houvenaghel
December 15: No. 22 Gee Atherton and 21 Rob Hayles
December 14: No. 24 Joanna Rowsell and 23 Simon Richardson
December 13: No. 26 Rachel Atherton and 25 Ben Swift
December 12: No. 28 Lizzie Armitstead and 27 Steven Burke
December 11: No. 30 Andrew Fenn and 29 Sharon Laws
December 10: No. 32 Peter Kennaugh and 31 Josh Bryceland
December 9: No. 34 Jody Cundy and 33 Liam Killeen
December 8: No. 36 David Millar and 35 Ian Stannard
December 7: No. 38 Daniel Fleeman and 37 Matt Crampton
December 6: No. 40 Jessica Allen and 39 Daniel Lloyd
December 5: No. 42 David Daniell and 41 Dean Downing
December 4: No. 44 Steve Peat and 43 Anna Blyth
December 3: No. 46 Jonny Bellis and 45 Jess Varnish
December 2: No. 48 Luke Rowe and 47 Michael Hutchinson
December 1: No. 50 Katie Colclough and 49 Chris Froome