Ipswich riders hoping for success
IPSWICH-based riders are hoping for home success in this weekend's cycle speedway British finals at Whitton Sports Centre.Ipswich's Daniel Pike and Great Blakenham riders Adam Peck and Lewis Osborne carry the biggest hopes of home county victory, but all three know it will be tough.
By Mike Bacon
IPSWICH-based riders are hoping for home success in this weekend's cycle speedway British finals at Whitton Sports Centre.
Ipswich's Daniel Pike and Great Blakenham riders Adam Peck and Lewis Osborne carry the biggest hopes of home county victory, but all three know it will be tough.
In what will be a quality final field, first they have to qualify for the 16-rider final from 48 original entrants. But if they do, their knowledge of the Ipswich track on Bank Holiday Monday could be a massive advantage.
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Peck, 22, has been riding for nine years. A former Westbourne High School pupil, he rates current British champion Lee Aris from Wednesfield as the biggest threat to the field.
“Aris is the biggest threat by far I think,” he said.
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“But quite honestly everyone who makes the final is capable of winning. My aim is to reach the final then it is anyone's.
“Many riders will not be very familiar with the Kesgrave and Somersham tracks for the semi-finals and I'm sure those tracks will catch a few riders out.”
Peck's team-mate at Great Blakenham, Lewis Osborne is a former Kesgrave High School pupil. He knows how important support from home fans will be.
“If we get good support from the local fans it will definitely give me a lift,” he said.
“I have got it in me to win and you have to believe in yourself. Nerves will play a part and I get a little nervous. But you must channel them in the right direction.”
Ipswich's Daniel Pike is another former Westbourne High School pupil. Aged 20, Pike feels confident a local rider can win the event.
“The potential in Ipswich and around Suffolk is high,” he said.
“I think there are a number of riders locally who could win it. Hopefully we will have a track with moisture to make it nice and grippy, but not too wet.”
While Peck, Osborne and Pike carry the hopes of Suffolk fans in the Open finals, 16-year-old Lee Richardson is their favourite in the under-16s.
A Great Blakenham rider, Richardson has been riding the sport half his life and has only recently moved to Blakenham from Ipswich.
“Ipswich was my home track up until last season, so I am confident I know the quickest lines around it,” he said.
“I've got it in me to win, but it is sure to be tough. But all I want to do is win, nothing else.”
There are plenty of other local riders on show over the weekend, including, Gary Brown and Barry Copping (Somersham), Joshua Brooke, Thomas Pike and Leon Mower (Ipswich), Daniel Johnson (Kesgrave) and Chris Osborne and Will Page (Great Blakenham), Richard Williamson, who lives live Woodbridge but rides for Norwich and Ipswich-based George Solomon, who rides for Norwich.
In the under-16s Andy Turnbull (Kesgrave) and Jordan Stant and Ryan Beeston (Ipswich) fly the flag for Suffolk.
With a Caribbean band, bouncy castle, sand pit and a display of vintage and classic bikes from the Copdock motor-cycle club, Monday is set to be a huge and exciting day for the promoting Ipswich club.
Ipswich chairman Dave Hunting and the committee of Ipswich have worked tirelessly in preparing the track and seating to accommodate the sport's biggest date. Everyone involved at Ipswich deserve all the plaudits for the efforts and with fair weather it is sure to be a great success.
SUFFOLK has a proud record of cycle speedway champions over the years.
And there have been numerous British senior individual winners from the county.
Previous Suffolk British senior title winners are:
1955 - Ron Bagley (Ipswich) 12pts, at Fleet, Hants.
1985 - Kevin Sutton (Orwell) 16pts, at Helledson, Norfolk
1989 - Tim Snook (Ipswich) 18pts, at Grays, Essex
Other Suffolk riders to finish on the rostrum in the British senior final are: Kevin Sutton (1981), John Goodyear (1982), Tim Snook (1986 and 1990), Jason Ashford (1992, 94, 95 and 2000).