MATCH REPORT: World Individual Finals Day
British Cycling and Out The Back’s Andy Whitehouse, takes us through Sunday’s incredible day of Cycle Speedway at Wednesfield’s Ashmore Park, where a four figure crowd enjoyed a fantastic advert for the sport from Junior, Ladies and Senior categories – including seeing a Brit crowned world champion. All photos by Andy Whitehouse.
Britain’s Vicky Brown was crowned cycle speedway world champion in Wednesfield on Sunday, with fellow Briton Lauren Hookway completing a memorable one-two on home soil. British captain Brown rode a faultless match to take the win with twenty points and was a cut above the rest of the quality field of title hopefuls.
Brown took an easy win in the opening heat of the match to take the four points, Australia’s Lucy Milliken worked hard to pass Lauren Jacobs on the second lap in the following heat to claim the win and the four points but the Australian would see her match fall apart as the day progressed.
Laura Watson looked on for her first win of the match in heat three but Zaneta Siemiandwska had her sights on the title and the European Champion fought hard to pass Watson for the win.
Australia’s Letitia Collins took the win in heat four but Lucy Whitehead took three points after a lunge across the line to pass Macie Schmidt for second. Brown fled out of the gate in heat six to take an important win from Collins and Siemiandwska, the two having to fight it out for second and third.
Lucy Whitehead took her first win of the match in heat seven again leaving it until the finish to nudge just in front of Charlie Jayne Herbert for the win.
Michelle Whitehead took the win in heat eight to bring her match back on track. Brown took her third win in heat ten going into the midway point on twelve points, Hookway and Collins two points adrift in second and third respectively.
Coming out of the break Hookway took her second win of the day but a great pass on the final bend by Collins on Krissy Mines saw the Australian take second and keep her title hopes alive. Michelle Whitehead took the win in the following heat after a race-long battle with Siemiandwska to keep her hopes alive for a podium place.
Heat fourteen and another straightforward win by Brown which would give her a podium but the Sheffield rider looked favourite for the title. A first and second in heats sixteen and seventeen from Lucy Whitehead saw the Leicester rider finish her day on sixteen points and finish fourth overall while a second from Siemiandwska in her final heat gave the Polish girl three points and fifth overall.
A win in heat eighteen by Brown secured a maximum and the world crown and with Hookway taking second it would be down to the final heat to decide the final podium positions. Collins had to win in the final race of the day to secure second overall but Michelle Whitehead rode a great race to take her third race of the day and with Collins finishing on seventeen points, the runner up spot would be down to a run-off between the Australian and Hookway. Hookway made no mistake in the run-off to take the win and a British one-two.
Poland’s Bartel Grabowski took the senior open title after a controversial decision in the run off to decide the match between the Pole and Britain’s Chris Timms after a match that hung in the balance from start to finish.
Grabowski was arguably the favourite to lift the title but Timms proved to be a match for any rider on the day and had the decider tied up until the referee’s decision of obstruction went against the Birmingham rider.
Shane Bentley took the world title back to Australia in an enthralling junior men’s match. Bentley had to take the win in the final heat of the day to take a straight win from Poland’s Michal Sassek while Britain’s Matt Hill had to be content with third place overall after finishing second in the previous heat.
1. Vicky Brown (Great Britain) 20 pts
2. Lauren Hookway (Great Britain) 17 pts
3. Letitia Collins (Australia) 17 pts
4. Lucy Whitehead (Great Britain) 16 pts
5. Zaneta Siemiandwska (Poland) 15 pts
Elite Senior Open
1. Bartek Grabowski (Poland) 18 pts
2. Chris Timms (Great Britain) 18 pts
3. Marcin Szymanski (Poland) 15 pts
4. Bobby McMillan (Australia) 15 pts
5=. Lukasz Nowacki (Poland) 14 pts
5=. Mark Boaler (Great Britain) 14 pts
1. Shane Bentley (Australia) 18 pts
2. Michal Sassek (Poland) 17 pts
3. Matt Hill (Great Britain) 16 pts
4. Brandon Whetton (Great Britain)15 pts
5. David Bas (Poland) 15 pts