Liam Phillips stormed to victory in the men’s elite race at the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Manchester but wasn’t just reserving praise for himself.
Phillips, the reigning world champion, did the rainbow jersey proud with a series of outstanding rides to repeat last year’s supercross and time trial double.
Training partner Kyle Evans joined him in the final, finishing fifth, while fellow Brit Charlotte Green took fourth place in the elite women’s race.
And two-time Olympian Phillips believes it is a matter of when and not if Evans and Green move up to joining him on the podium at the very top level.
“They’re reaping the rewards for the work put in. Kyle watches what I do, and he’s always learning,” said Phillips.
“That [Evans reaching the final] was no fluke – he’s one of the best in the world – and soon we could have a couple of athletes standing on the podium.”
Phillips, who won the time trial on Friday night, reached an even higher level in winning the supercross on Saturday.
Attaining a number of personal bests along the way, the 25-year-old powered past his rivals to the delight of the British supporters.
“When I won my rainbow jersey, it was just me, my teammate and coach,” added Phillips. “When you race here, in front of friends and family and all these other people who want you to win, it’s tough, but a great feeling to be able to deliver.”
Phillips’ teammates Evans and Tre Whyte, having successfully negotiated the men’s 1/8 finals, were placed in the same quarter-final.
Evans progressed with a third place finish but Whyte was edged out by American Jared Garcia on the final straight.
There was better still to come from Evans, who came second in his semi-final and then fifth in the final.
And he said: “It’s so close on an indoor track like this that you’ve just got to attack, attack, attack. In the semi-final and final I gave it everything I’ve got, and it came together for me.”
In the women’s event, Green continued her fine form from Friday with two first-place finishes and a second to progress to the semi-finals but the quarter-finals were the end of the road for fellow Brits Abbie Taylor and Valerie Zebrokova.
Green then went one better than last year by reaching the final, where she finished fourth – Australian Caroline Buchanan, the current women’s world champion, taking the victory.
Reflecting on the team’s success, British BMX Olympic Coach Grant White said: “Across the board, I’m delighted. All of the athletes we saw are young, they’re working hard day in, day out, and they’re only going to get better.”
© Sportsbeat 2014