Speedway duo conquer America

CYCLE SPEEDWAY: Two Ipswich cycle speedway riders took America by storm on a pioneering trip to the USA.Jason Ashford scored a 16-point maximum as Great Britain beat the USA 105-77 and then won a big individual meeting.

By Elvin King

CYCLE SPEEDWAY

TWO Ipswich cycle speedway riders took America by storm on a pioneering trip to the USA.

Jason Ashford scored a 16-point maximum as Great Britain beat the USA 105-77 and then won a big individual meeting. His race partner, 17-year-old Adam Peck, won the junior individual event.

The pair, both members of the Great Blakenham club, were part of a GB party that went to the States to help prepare the Americans for next year's World Cup in Manchester.

Based in Edenton, North Carolina, the party received star treatment including live television interviews.

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"American racing is different to ours and this was the first visit from a foreign side," said 31-year-old Ashford.

"Their track was enormous – 160 metres.

"We helped to prepare a new circuit at 80 metres for the international match to get the Americans used to

conditions they will find in the World Cup.

"The individual event the following day – held at night because of intense heat – was run over 20 laps of the big circuit. It was tiring and completely different to want we are used to."

Ashford broke the 160 metre track record in qualifying for pole position and, despite being passed by two-time world and six-time British champion David Hemsley, he got his nose in front again on the 14th lap to win.

Peck also qualified in pole position and went on to win the Under-18 event. Nine British riders made the trip with the rest coming from Poole, Manchester and other top clubs. Hemsley had been in Edenton for some while preparing the visit.

On their last day of a four-day visit, the GB team was at a grand parade to celebrate the peanut harvest and were included in the procession.

Next year the Blakenham club is to stage the senior British individual championship – the first time this major event has been staged there.

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