Shanaze Reade’s career has been one of distinct highs and lows. A BMX world champ as a teen and bright hope on the track prior to the 2008 Olympics, things went south for the powerhouse rider and now, nearly three Olympiads later, she has still not fulfilled anywhere near her potential.
The news that she is to return to the GB track squad is something of a surprise. There was a sense a few years ago that the GB coaches has lost patience with Reade. But needs must and GB certainly has need for a world class sprinter. With Becky James’ return still uncertain, the GB team sprint team has struggled. Jess Varnish remains a solid enough option but she is in need of a partner. Vicky Williamson, Danielle Khan and Vicky Marchant all have potential, but with just a year to go, Reade might be seen as a shortcut to success. If she can regain her 19-flat best for the standing lap and push on down to 18.6 or so and Varnish ca transition to Man 2, the Brits could be cotenders even without world champ James. Watch this space.