Tidball crowned British Cycling Under-13 years Individual Cycle Speedway champion

Will Tidball

Will Tidball - Credit: Archant

Exmouth cycle speedway rider Will Tidball, aged 13, has recently been crowned the British Cycling under 13 years Individual Cycle Speedway Champion.

This was a championship that he won for the first time in 2012.

Tidball is a pupil at Exmouth Community College and travelled to Swindon with the cream of competitors from all over the UK to try to retain this championship.

Over the course of his races he dropped just one point to finish joint top of the leader board. This meant a run-off with fellow competitor Haydn Rowles from Wednesfield, near Wolverhampton.

Tidball drew the less-favourable outside grid, but overtook his rival just before the last lap to the delight of spectators. As well as trophies he acquired the much coveted white British Cycling Cycle Speedway champion’s shirt. Tidball is a member of the Exeter Aces Cycle Speedway club, based at the Wheels Centre, Cofton Road, Marsh Barton.

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Meanwhile, 11-year-old Owen Tidball competed with his brother and finished a very creditable sixth out of 24 competitors. The younger brother has another two years in this age group so hopefully will follow in his brother’s footsteps.

Exeter Aces was formed in 1963 in Hamlin Lane and moved to its present site in 1980. Cycle Speedway, much like the motorised version takes place from a standing start on an oval track with four competitors riding on bikes with no brakes or gears. There are team and individual events staged including ladies races. Points are awarded over a series of four heats with sprint finishes to reach the chequered flag. At present there are 36 Cycle Speedway Tracks in England, Scotland and Wales.

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The age of members in the Exeter Aces Club ranges from four to 50 plus. Some ride just for the fun of it – others have represented their country at international events in the USA, Australia and Poland. As a club Exeter has done well at all levels with victories at both junior and senior national levels. The club has a friendly atmosphere with a clubhouse where refreshments are on offer. Bikes are always available for anyone to loan to try the sport. Protective headgear, gloves and coaching are also available at the club’s premises for newcomers to enjoy this exhilarating sport in a safe, off road environment.

It is a little-known sport that combines skill, nerve and speed and the Exeter Aces Cycle Speedway club can offer good fun, good racing and good friends. Training sessions are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7pm onwards. New members are always made very welcome – for any more information ring the secretary Lynn Parker, on 01395 232216.

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