Reade weighs up options
BMX rider Shanaze Reade is leaving no stone unturned in her quest for Olympic gold in London next year.
Last Updated: 14/12/11 5:14pm
Shanaze Reade, the BMX rider who is one of Britain's best bets for gold in next summer's Olympics, is experimenting to see whether adding the pounds may help her achieve success at London 2012.
The 23-year-old finds it easy putting on or losing weight and is looking to find her ideal weight for the London track.
The start hill is 8m high and Reade and her coach have been working with a nutritionist to see whether weighing an extra couple of pounds could prove decisive.
Reade said: "We already have sports scientists looking at how much the bike weighs but now we are looking at how much I should weigh too for this particular track.
"The Olympic start hill is eight metres high and we are seeing whether my weight should change.
"I have a nutritionist, and I can put on or lose weight quite easily, so we are trying strategies in training to see what will be optimum weight.
"Because of how high the start hill is, the weight coming down the hill could be crucial."
Reade triumphed in the BMX Supercross World Cup round in London in August, which doubled up as a test event for the Olympics, and she believed the design of the track will be an advantage for her.
She added: "All the top riders were there and I won it so it was perfect for me to see where I am at. A lot has been made about how big the track is and how big the jumps are, but I like big because I can open up."
One person who won't be watching Reade compete next summer is her mum Joanna. BMX can be a dangerous sport - Reade herself crashed out of the Beijing Olympics in spectacular fashion - and she says her mother is more likely to be walking around the Olympic Park while the race is taking place.
Reade said: "I'll get two tickets for my family but they don't generally watch - they get a bit scared. My mum will probably just walk around listening to commentary - she just wants to know I am safe and well, she will not be too bothered about the result."