The Year Of The British Champion
As we look forward to the start of the new season I thought it would be nice just to mention one last time, what a tremendous 2012 the club had and in particularly the feat of 5 British Champions in one year.
Now this is certainly a club record, although I am not sure if its a national record of any kind, perhaps one of our readers may know? It all started off with our pocket rocket Ellie Sullivan who romped to the girls U13 title, although small in statue, Ellie was head and shoulders above the opposition when it counted. In a controlled and steady manor Ellie was never seriously threatened by any of the other competitors and picked up the title in a flawless display.
Next up was veteran Sheffield rider Chris Turner who traveled to the big East Park track in Wolverhampton and promptly lifted the over 40’s title. Chris faced stiff competition from Elite League rider Jason Ashford of Leicester and the flying Gavin Parr from Newcastle. When all three riders appeared in the same race, Chris waited for Ashford and Parr to come together then smartly nipped up the inside to take a vital win and become our second British Champion.
Our third champion Andy Angell pulled of back to back wins in the senior championship at a cold and very wet Newport track. The August Bank Holiday extravaganza could so easily have been a total damp squib as the rain poured down. However all credit to the riders who put on a great display and when the mud had settled and amongst emotional scenes our Andy was top of the pile again. Exactly 12 months to the day that he had lifted his first senior title in Norwich, can he get the hat trick this year at Coventry??? yeah course he can!
We then moved Indoors for our fourth champion when Ryan Hoyland rode a brilliant meeting to become the senior Indoor British Champion. In the weeks leading up to the championship Ryan had been training at every chance and was absolutely flying. His speed, style and technique were coming together and he looked to be in the form of his life has the championship weekend arrived.
In a nerve jangling last ride he led Birminghams Chris Timms right until the last corner when Timms dived up his inside and literally smashed Ryan to the fence causing him to fall. In the anxious few seconds that followed a hushed crowd awaited the referees decision, when it came and Timms was excluded for excessive force the arena erupted and Ryans dedication and effort was justly rewarded.
Our final British Champion of 2012 came one week later at the U16’s Indoor Individual championship when Richard Hudson notched 19pts to claim victory. In a tense and exciting final Stockport Jake Read and Wednesfield Matt Haddock were tied at the top of the leader board with Richard just a point behind. Read and Haddock faced each other and after two big crashes the Referee adjudged Haddock to be the cause of the stoppage and excluded him from the race and ended his title shot.
This opened the door for Richard who had to beat Read in his last ride to tie the meeting, what was to follow was drama of the highest quality. Read on the inside gated Richard and got out front however the race was far from over and by the last lap Rich was all over Reads back wheel. As the riders entered the last corner Rich saw a gap and went for it nudging Read out of the way.
A stunned Read wobbled,lost his balance and fell, by time he had got back to his feet, Rich had crossed the line and importantly the other two riders had passed Read and relegated him to fourth place. Rich was outright winner and Sheffield fifth British Champion.
Can the club repeated this feat? well why not, with all the talented riders coming through in the different age groups, all I can say is “watch this space”