Track and BMX star Shanaze Reade shrugged off disappointment in Sunday’s team sprint at the Manchester Track World Cup, admitting she was just glad to be back in competition after injury.
Together with some-time partner Victoria Pendleton, Reade failed to qualify for the medal races. But following two-and-a-half months on the sidelines with a wrist injury, Reade said the pair went into the event without expectations.
“I’ve only been back on the bike for four-and-a-half weeks so I’m not worried about the result at all,” she told BikeRadar. “I’m 100 percent fit but not quite race fit, so just getting back racing again was great. I’ve gone faster in training so the result isn't something I’m too concerned about.”
The result has certainly done nothing to alter Reade's ambition to enter both the BMX and track events at next summer’s Olympic Games. “No, not at all,” she said. “Getting back stuck into competition was my target for the weekend and that’s what I managed to do.” Next up for the 22-year-old, if selected, is March’s Track World Championships in Holland, followed by the BMX World Championships in Denmark in July.
Reade paid tribute to the tremendous support the team received throughout the weekend. “It was an unbelievable turnout and it almost felt like a football stadium at times,” she said. “The whole crowd were right behind the team and the noise they made was incredible.”
She said the horrific crash involving Malaysian rider Azizulhasni Awang (see British Cycling video below), whose calf was splintered by a 20cm shard of wood during Saturday’s keirin final, gave her goosebumps. “I wasn’t in the arena when it happened but I’ve seen videos of it,” she said. “It freaked me out a little to know something like that could happen on the track.”
Her own targets aside, Shanaze Reade is also involved with Cadbury's Spots v Stripes game, which aims to get Brits excited about the Olympics and playing games again.