Raised in Burnham-on-Sea, Liam Phillips is one of the world’s leading BMX riders, having appeared at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. His first European title arrived in 1999, while in 2013 he was crowned BMX World Champion. This year has again been a hugely successful one for the 26-year-old who became the first rider to win back-to-back BMX World Cup titles when he took a second series win in South Carolina in September.
Rio 2016 hopeful Liam Phillips talks about his trip to South America, getting ahead of the game and dealing with the pressure that comes from being a home favourite
Find out more about Liam on his profile here
I am feeling good and I’m ready to race now after going on a bit of a reccy mission as I look ahead to a busy summer.
I haven’t raced yet because I went to South America to spend some time in Colombia on the track for the World Championships later this year.
And then from there I went to Rio to check out the Olympic track so it has been a busy time but both trips were successful.
Both tracks are challenging so it was good to spend time on them, but I think both will make for some exciting races.
One of the key reasons for going out there was to train and get ready on big, outdoor tracks because we don’t really have those in the UK.
We have a great track in Manchester that is definitely one of the best, but you need to get used to the conditions of an outdoor track.
The track in Rio is challenging but at the same time it’s going to make for a good race and I think both the ones in Brazil and Colombia are quite similar really as they are both quite long.
The one in Colombia is also at altitude and I have never really experienced that before so that will be interesting.
I have never raced in Colombia before. I have raced in Brazil and Argentina but not Colombia so I am excited for the World Championships.
Colombia is the home of Mariana Pajon who won London 2012 gold. She is an absolute superstar over there and BMX is huge there so it’s going to be fantastic to race there for sure.
That was Colombia’s only gold medal of the Olympics in London so she is a big deal and I know the fans love their BMX so it will be good to race in front of them.
But I didn’t need to go to South America to realise how close the 2016 Olympics are getting.
The Olympics is coming around a lot quicker than we perhaps thought but there is still a lot of bike racing to do before then and I will be taking it each race as it comes.
I will be starting my season at the Manchester World Cup and it is great because I have done that the last three years.
Normally Manchester is the first World Cup of the season but this year was different, and I decided to miss the opening round to spend time training and to go to South America.
So after that I am really looking forward to racing as I am in good shape and I just want to get out there in Manchester now.
There is always pressure on me to perform in Manchester but I have managed to win the last three years so I don’t really have anything else to prove.
Tune back in next month to hear all about the Manchester World Cup