by Renee Israel
As an Olympics event BMX Cycling was introduced for the
first time at the 2008 Beijing Games. Standing for Bicycle Motor Cross, BMX uses
motorised cycles over outdoor tracks are built up with jumps, bumps and tightly
banked corners. The men and women have separate races and the final for both
will be held on August 10.
Women's BMX Cycling At 2012 London Olympics
The British fans and punters will be focussing more on the Women's BMX
Cycling because Briton Shanaze Reade is the favourite to win the gold medal.
Reade was among the top contenders in the inaugural event at Beijing as well,
where she crashed in the final.
Though she won last year's test event, she is not taking anything for
granted. "Sometimes things are out of your control. I went to the world
championships and slid out in the quarter-finals when leading by quite a bit,"
said Reade. But at the end of the day she has won more races than she has lost.
Reade is the sole British contender in the Women's BMX Cycling. According to
her, the biggest challenge will be from two Frenchwomen. One is Magalie Pottier,
who is the reigning world champion. The other is Laetitia Le Corguille, the
Beijing silver medallist. However, online betting sites have long odds on Le
Corguille. The Beijing gold medallist Anne-Caroline Chausson is not competing.
The odds for the top four favourites for the Women's BMX Cycling at Ladbrokes
online are as follows.
Shanaze Reade (GBR) 13/8
Magalie Pottier (FRA) 4/1
Sarah Walker (NZL) 5/1
Mariana Pajon (COL) 6/1
Men's BMX Cycling At 2012 London Olympics
In the Men's BMX Cycling as well, Great Britain has a single representative
in Liam Phillips. Unlike Reade, Phillips is not among the favourites and will
have to pull out something extra for a medal finish. Maris Strombergs of Latvia
is the favourite to defend his Beijing gold medal. World champion Sam Willoughby
and Frenchman Joris Daudet are among the top contenders.
Willoughby has praised the London Olympics BMX track. He said, "They've done
a great job. I've never seen a track in this good a condition. It takes a lot of
work and I think people will see that." Willoughby said that inclusion in the
Olympics will be an eye opener to the world as to what BMX is all about.
The odds for the top four favourites for the Men's BMX Cycling and for
Phillips at Ladbrokes online are as follows.
Maris Strombergs (LAT) 3/1
Sam Willoughby (AUS) 7/2
Joris Daudet (FRA) 4/1
Connor Fields (USA) 7/1
Liam Phillips (GBR) 14/1