Shanaze Reade

Shanaze Reade

BMX Racer & Track Cyclist – three time UCI BMX World Champion & two time Team Sprint World Champion on the track

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Born: Crewe

Date of birth: 23rd September 1988

Lives: Manchester

Reade began her career on the BMX track in 1998 at the age of 10 and by the time she was 17 she was Britain’s No. 1 Women’s rider.


It wasn’t all about BMX from the outset though as Reade started her sporting life as a Track & Field enthusiast (100m Sprint and the Shot Put), but after five years in those sports she discovered BMX and bought her first bike for a £1. 


Known for her power, she developed her strength racing against boys and older amateurs.  She won her first professional race in April 2006 and became British No.1 in 19 & Over Elite Men after racing the National Series with men, despite being only 17 at the time. Later that year she went on to win the World Championships in Brazil. Her BMX victories at junior level include three World, eight European and five British BMX Championships. 


In 2007, Reade decided to take up track cycling in order to keep fit for BMX competition. After only six weeks of training she won gold in the Women's Team Sprint with Victoria Pendleton at the UCI Track World Championships.  This was only her second track race and she became the first ever to win a track Championship in her rookie year. It was also the first ever Women's Team Sprint Gold Medal title in that event. Later that year Reade was named The Sunday Times Young Sportswoman of the Year. At the 2008 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Manchester, she again won the gold in the Women's Team Sprint with Pendleton. 


Whilst still active in track racing, she concentrated on BMX for the event's first inclusion in the Olympic Games in 2008. Having successfully defended her crown at the 2008 World Championships (she stormed away from the competition in the finals and took the world title by several lengths), Reade was named the sole woman member of the Great Britain BMX 2008 Olympic team and made it to the final. 


Reade again represented Great Britain in the women's BMX event for the London 2012 Olympics. She placed first, second and first in the three heat semi-final and whilst in silver medal position in the final she made the brave decision to manoeuvre and go for Gold, but crashed out. A decision which she says she does not regret.


In between the Olympics, Reade was selected in the British squad for the World Track Cycling Championships in Pruszków, Poland in March 2009. It was here that she once again competed alongside Victoria Pendleton in the Women's Sprint and Team Sprint events and won a silver medal. 


In April 2015 Reade re-joined the Great Britain track squad after a period based in the United States competing in BMX and later that year she started riding for the the Madison Genesis team.


A year later though Shanaze found her passion for coaching and made the decision to retire from professional cycling in 2017. She began touring the country BMX clubs, passing on her knowledge of techniques, racing and years of disciplined training. Her aim is to support, coach and nurture those who have a passion for sport. 


However, in August 2018 she returned to training at British Cycling and won the British National Team Sprint Championships alongside Blaine Ridge-Davis which took place in January 2019. 


Reade has now retired from professional cycling and is focusing on coaching Team GB's BMX'er Bethany Shriever to glory at the Tokyo Olympics.


Away from the track Reade is a popular corporate speaker, ambassador for brands including the Breeze Network, HSBC and is the Cycling and Walking ambassador for the West Midlands, as well as a commentator on BMX coverage.