Double world cycling champion Shanaze Reade has one eye on the women’s 500m time trial world title this year as well as targeting the defence of her BMX crown in China a month later.
20 year-old Reade believes that she can improve on her fifth place in the 2007 Track Cycling World Championships in Palma, Mallorca and would love to have a chance at the solo title in Manchester in March. The Brit won gold in the women’s team sprint in Palma teaming up with countrywoman Victoria Pendleton to beat the Dutch pairing of Yvonne Hijgenaar and Willy Kanis to clinch the gold medal.
“I never set out on my track career with a target of winning the world championships,” said the British sprinter from Crewe. “It was always crossover training for BMX and it still is at the moment but I seem to be getting faster and faster on the track and you can shut the door on it. Sometimes I think that I should put all my eggs in one basket in BMX but last year I did both and managed win gold medals in each and it was the best year I have had in the sport so far.
“It is so hard to qualify for both BMX and the track so I am going to carry on like I did last year and see what doors open for me. I am leaving it late for the world track championships again. I have only done one training session since Palma but I have produced a personal best on starts. So I am getting faster without specific track training. So now I want to concentrate more on the 500m time trial. The event is something that is special to me.”
Reade finished fifth with a time of 34.633 seconds in the Palma 500m time trial in her first ever attempt in top competition and was just over two tenths of a second behind ex-world sprint champion Natallia Tsylinskaya from Belarus, who won the bronze medal.
“I was so close to making the podium without training for it,” said Reade. “I hadn’t even used the aero bars or ridden double disc wheels before so I want to get on the podium this time.”
If she wants one of the two slots in the team, Reade will have to ride faster than either Anna Blyth or Victoria Pendleton in upcoming competition. “There are three of us going for the GB two spots,” she said. “I wasn’t far off Victoria’s best time and I hold the UK record for the one lap (250m) so we will see. I am scheduled to ride in the Copenhagen World Cup in February. I will do the 500m time trial there and the team sprint as well.”
The Brits will be up against current world champion Anna Meares in Manchester. Australian Meares produced a blistering two laps to win the gold medal last year and set a new world record of 33.588. She also won the 500m race in the Sydney round of the world cup in November while Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez of Cuba produced a super-fast time of 33.994 to win the last round in Beijing in December.