Suffolk riders to the fore in British cycle speedway finals
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Three British champions and a host of podium success.
Suffolk cycle speedway riders did themselves proud with a plethora of stunning performances in the showpiece British Finals weekend, held in the county over the Bank Holiday weekend.
It was the first time the Finals, with age groups ranging from under-10 to over-60 categories, were all staged at the same time in one region – and Suffolk came up trumps, both on and off the track.
The packed programme, held at Ipswich, Great Blakenham and Kesgrave, saw almost 3,000 people take part in the action at one or all of the tracks.
And East Anglian fans were rewarded as their local stars raced to glory.
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“It turned out to be a great weekend of racing all round,” Ipswich Eagles chairman Jamie Goldsmith said.
“On Saturday and Sunday at Kesgrave and Great Blakenham there was some great racing and at Ipswich on Monday, although the weather was against us, it was still a brilliant occasion.”
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On track, Ipswich’s Charlie Rumbold was the star performer.
The Ipswich teenager not only won the British U19 final in thrilling fashion at Great Blakenham on Saturday night, but he then finished runner-up in the main event, the Men’s Open Final, at Ipswich on Monday.
Rumbold’s achievements were outstanding and he thrilled the large crowds with some breathtaking racing.
But he wasn’t alone.
Ipswich-based Ollie Reynolds, a Kesgrave Panthers rider who has been so impressive all season, dominated the U10 final and ran out a worthy victor on his home track on Saturday, while Lily Gedge of Ipswich won an exciting British Girls’ U16 title, after a run-off with Leicester Monarchs’ Lizzie Rigley.
And the impressive list of results for Ipswich and Suffolk riders didn’t stop there.
Adam Peck, who rides for Great Blakenham in the South East League and Ipswich’s Elite League team, was third in the Men’s Open, while 15-year-old Pierce Bacon secured his fourth British Final podium finish with another cracking performance in the British U16s, where he finished runner-up.
Ipswich’s Gemma Hill took a deserved third place finish in the Girls’ U13s, held at Blakenham, while Isabel Farrell of Ipswich was second in the Girls’ U10s and Kesgrave’s Daisy Steward was just behind in third.
Although the rain stayed away on Saturday and Sunday, it was a different story on Bank Holiday Monday with the rain prevalent
Racing was tricky but the Ipswich track at Whitton Sports Centre held up well.
It was an excellent weekend after a hard year’s preparation for the three Suffolk cycle speedway clubs and with the Mayor of Ipswich, Glen Chisholm, staying throughout proceedings on Monday to present trophies to the riders, along with headline meeting sponsors Collier & Catchpole and their MD, Tim Rowbottom, it proved a fitting occasion all round.