8 May 2015Liam: Papendal UCI BMX Supercross World Cup a different challenge
The second round of the five-event series, which offers Rio Olympic qualification points, takes place on 9-10 May at the outdoor Olympic Training Centre in Netherlands.
Great Britain Cycling Team’s Phillips completed a ‘three-peat’ with victory at the first round at the National Cycling Centre in April after wins in 2013 and 2014.
“I’m feeling really good, it’s fantastic to come off the back of such a strong performance at the opening round in Manchester,” said the 26-year-old, who finished third at Papendal last year.
“I’m excited to go to Papendal and try and recreate that same level of performance.
“It’s different. This (Manchester) is a track I train on and am familiar with but I’ve raced Papendal a few times now and I’m looking forward to going there and trying to perform as best I can.”
Renowned for testing riders’ endurance, the expansive track at Arnhem is at contrast with the tight course in Manchester.
Open to the elements, the weather can also influence racing as in 2014 when heavy rain on the course caused delays and hazardous conditions.
“Papendal is certainly a difficult track,” Phillips said.
“It’s big, it’s wide open but over the last couple of years I have grown to really like it.
“It is certainly a challenge but last year was certainly very difficult with the weather conditions and I just hope that this year we get a bit of a break with the weather and we can enjoy some racing in the sunshine.
“If the weather is as bad as last year I hope I am able to manage it as well as I did in 2014.”
World champion Sam Willoughby and two-time Olympic gold medallist Maris Strombergs are among a formidable elite men’s starting field.
For Phillips, striving to recreate his form from Manchester is the goal.
“I guess it is always nice to race when you are in-form,” Phillips said.
“It is something that we train pretty hard to find, if I can get anywhere close to the form that I had at the first round I’ll be really happy.”