British Olympian and two-time world BMX champion Shanaze Reade is currently recovering from a dislocated shoulder, so took time to visit Stoke-on-Trent to help the city celebrate the arrival of the Tour Series cycle race.
Shanaze greeted riders who cycled to the city’s Civic Centre as part of a commuter challenge, and dropped into BurnwoodCommunityPrimary School where over 200 children turned out to see her officially open the final part of the school’s “tri-track”, a custom-made BMX track.
Shanaze had some encouraging words for the children: “Never give up on your dream – I haven’t and neither should you. There are always lots of twists and turns in anyone’s career, particularly in cycling, and you just have to follow them and keep going.”
Chloe Welsh, aged 10, said: “Shanaze is a real inspiration to us. She’s someone we can all look up to and it’s brilliant to have her here today.”
On her recovery from injury and hopes for the 2012 Olympic Games, Reade said: “I’m aiming to be back in around four months or so, but there’s a lot of work I have to do before then.
“I need to rest the shoulder, and then get a decent amount of training in. When the Olympic qualifiers start later this year, I want to be well rested and at full strength, so I can give it my best shot.”
For the latest on the Tour Series go to our racing article.