17 April 2015BMX star Liam looking to use World Cup to experiment for 2016 Rio Olympics
Liam Phillips knows he must expand his repertoire to aid his bid for Olympic glory.
The 26-year-old from Burnham-on-Sea won the 2013 BMX world title and was the World Cup series champion in 2014.
Phillips, who races in the Manchester World Cup event this weekend, plans to use 2015 to experiment with tactics in a bid to arrive at the start gate in Rio full of confidence.
'There are certain areas I need to improve to get on the gate in Rio and know that I've done everything I can to be as good, if not better, than my competitors in every single area,' Phillips said.
'The sport is continuing to improve and I need to continue to improve.
'There's challenges this season that I would love to accomplish, which don't necessarily mean going to a race and winning.
'Last year in Argentina I was in second and almost passed the reigning Olympic champion (Latvia's Maris Strombergs) for the win.
'That's something I feel I'd like a little bit more exposure to - not being out in front and having to try to pass some of the best guys to come back and win. That would add to my box of tricks come the Olympics.'
Phillips would dearly love to reclaim the world title he won in Auckland two years ago at this year's World Championships in Belgium in July.
The Somerset ace was the taken out by an ill-thought manoeuvre by France's Damien Godet in Rotterdam last year, ending his stint in the rainbow jersey.
Phillips knows his performances in recent seasons mean he is a key rival others will do anything to beat.
'I do have a target on me, because I have performed at a high level over the last few years and I have been world champion,' he added.
'Last year's World Championships was so frustrating because I sacrificed doing a few races before then because I wanted to chuck everything at retaining that title.
'I was absolutely flying and I know that given the opportunity to continue racing I would certainly have been more than capable of retaining that, but that's BMX.
'It's just the nature of it. I don't like to dwell on that. I want to push forward now.'
Phillips won the Manchester World Cup event in 2014 and knows he will be expected to perform once again on his home track in Saturday's time-trials and Sunday's Super Cross, where eight riders race at the same time.
He added: 'I look back at the World Cup last year and I've never experienced pressure like that. Being reigning world champion, everybody expects you to win.
'There's 150 guys in the race, but everybody is looking at this as my race. It's something I seem to be able to manage and thrive on in some respects.'
Phillips leads a five-rider British team, which also features 2014 World Championships bronze medallist Tre Whyte, Kyle Evans and Quillan Isidore.
Charlotte Green is the only female representative, although three-time BMX world champion Shanaze Reade is back in the British Cycling set-up, training with the track team.