FORMER world champion Liam Phillips will miss the opening round of the BMX Supercross World Cup in Argentina, but is travelling to South America to fine-tune preparations for August's Olympics.

The 27-year-old from Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset will travel to Santiago del Estero, but will not compete, instead training with a view to starting his World Cup season in Manchester on April 9 and 10.

However, the trip also includes an excursion to Rio, so Phillips, and team-mates Kyle Evans and Tre Whyte, will have the chance to ride on the Olympic track from March 17 to 19.

Evans and Whyte comprise the two-rider British team for the opening World Cup round on March 25 and 26.

Phillips won the series in 2015 and carries Britain's main hopes for Rio having won the 2013 world title.

Three rounds take place before August's Olympics and two follow the Games. The qualification window for qualifying for Rio closes on May 30.

British Cycling Olympic BMX coach Grant White said: "This is a valuable chance to spend some time on the Olympic course ahead of August and will allow the riders to get familiar with the demands of the track."