Suffolk cycle speedway riders perform in the Ashes series Down Under
Cycle Speedway's 2017 World Championships were held in Australia earlier this month.
A strong contingent of Suffolk riders represented club and country in Adelaide’s coldest spring since 1969.
Great Blakenham racer Josh Brooke delivered Suffolk’s best performance, finishing joint fourth in the Open Individual final,
The World Open title was decided by a three way run-off between Adelaide brothers Joel and Cody Chadwick, and reigning World Champion Bartosz Grabowski from Poland. Joel raced away to victory, as Cody and Grabowski battled. Chadwick, who spent 2016 in Suffolk riding with Ipswich in the Elite League and Great Blakenham in the South East league, took second place behind his brother on the podium.
Suffolk riders Lewis Osborne, Ashley and Matt Hill, Charlie Rumbold, Leon Mower and Richard Fellgett progressed to the Open semi-finals but did not join Brooke in the last 16.
Ipswich had the trio of Lauren Jacobs, Charlie-Jane Herbert and Chloe Pearce in the Womens final. Pearce also finished fourth in the inaugural Under-16 Girls final, missing the podium by one point.
Alex Harvey and Ben Clarke progressed to the semi finals of the Junior competition, Clarke, finished seventh in the Under-16 Boys final.
The England and Great Britain Junior squads dominated their competitions, winning both the Junior World Cup and Junior Federation Cup competitions. The Seniors struggled to match their Junior team-mates, finishing third in the World Cup series behind Poland and Australia, while Great Britain finished third behind Australia and Poland in the Federation Cup.
Ipswich’s Leon Mower and Charlie Rumbold represented Ireland in the World Cup, who finished fifth.
Open: Joel Chadwick, Salisbury, Australia
Women: Zaneta Siemianowska, ŚWitochlowice, Poland
Veteran: Norman Venson, Leicester, England
Junior: Brandon Whetton, Wednesfield, England
Under 16 Boys: Jack Norman, LeFevre, Australia
Under 16 Girls: Macie Schmidt, Poole, England
Meanwhile, the Ashes series hosted four team competitions; Senior, Women, Junior (under-18) and Veteran (over-40).
Blakenham’s Josh Brooke and Lewis Osborne joined the Senior squad, which struggled from the off against a very fit and well prepared Australia squad on their home tracks.
Australia took the Senior series three matches to nil, their strength coming from more familiarity between the chosen pairs of riders in the team.
By contrast the British Women, Junior and Veterans’ squads dominated their competitions.
Three Ipswich ladies, ex-British champions Charlie Jane Herbert and Lauren Jacobs plus debutant Chloe Pearce, joined the Women’s squad as they won five matches to nil.
The Veterans similarly dominated their opponents winning 4-0, Ipswich’s Phil Clarke made a late international debut at 48, riding for Great Britain’s Veteran Reserves.
The British dominance no doubt came from the UK’s national Womens series and the 10 round Eurovets series, meaning the two squads were as familiar with each other as the Australian Senior squad.
Ipswich’s Alex Harvey and Ben Clarke both made their debuts for Great Britain Juniors, as the Juniors won their series 3-0.
This year saw the introduction of boys’ and girls’ Under 16 individual World finals which increased the number of Under 16 riders able to travel and available to the Junior and Women’s squads.
Clarke became Team GB’s youngest rider, aged 14 years and one month.
Alex and Ben were paired for their first international heat, Ben racing away for first and Alex protecting third from the outer grid for a 6-4 heat win.