FEATURE: Angell turns attention to the British Weekend

We’re hoping to bring you some special British Individual Championship features covering all categories this week, ahead of the 2015 British Individual Championships, which take place at Ipswich, Kesgrave and Great Blakenham over the weekend.

So let’s start off with Reigning British Champion and three times title winner, Andy Angell, who spoke to us this week ahead of the defence of his title at Ipswich this weekend.

You had a great World Final in Wednesfield a few weeks back, finishing just shy of a podium position. How are you feeling going into defending your title this weekend?

I spent 16 weeks training for the worlds with only one primary goal, so until the last week or two I havnt really given the British much thought with it being so close to the worlds! I’m in a strange position mentally, I’m hoping I get to the weekend, the adrenaline kicks in and everything will click again, but it’s tough mentally to move on from such a long training program and get over a performance peak, while trying to maintain performance and confidence. I will give it my best shot as always! Can’t do much more, if it’s meant to be it will be!

Last year’s final in Bury was the closest ever, with you winning on 15 points and the lowest scorer on 9, just 6 points between first and last. Are you expecting more of the same this time round in Ipswich?

Yes last year was awfully close and low scoring, but that showed the quality of the full final field. The title could have gone lots of ways, with many riders beating each other. People were running a first then a last (myself included), with others running a last then a first! It’s a funny old game, and anything is possible. I expect on a big track like Ipswich, the scoring will be a little higher than 15, as it will expose the weak/unfit should they scrape through to the final.

Last year's final at Bury was the closest ever.

Last year’s final at Bury was the closest ever. Here Angell gets to the bend ahead of Mark Boaler, Paul Heard and Steve Harris.

Who do you expect to be pushing for glory, are there any outside bets that you fancy?

You know, anyone capable of making the final is capable of winning it, that’s what I’ve always thought. You have to expect a couple of the local boys to make a final appearance. I would like to see Charlie Rumbold make the final on his home circuit, after such a successful worlds campaign He is certainly a rider capable of having a good go, he fears nobody and never gives up, which is admirable! Myke Grimes deserves another shot at the title, he has worked incredibly hard to improve his start this year and was massively unfortunate to miss the world final. The usual big hitters will be plenty. Chris Timms is always capable of big things, Ben Mould and Paul Heard have been riding well. Lee Aris is a strong, hard charging racer and will relish the challenge of another British title on a track he has won on before. Can never discount Mark Boaler either, he is capable of getting half an elbow on anyone, and that’s all it usually takes! Should be a quality final.

Of your three titles, which was the most special and why?

They was all pretty special to be honest, it’s hard to pick one! The first in 2011 at Norwich I think has to be the best, certainly the most special. You never ever forget the feeling of the first one. I said at the time, whether I win any more or not I would never forget that feeling. It’s true and I never will!

Andy Angell won his three titles at Norwich in 2011, Newport in 2012 and Bury in 2014.

Andy Angell won his three titles at Norwich in 2011, Newport in 2012 and Bury in 2014.

There is potential for a big crowd at all of the finals with all categories taking place on one weekend. There might be a few nervous legs at the starting tapes across all disciplines this weekend, especially our younger riders. What advice do you have for those riders in how they can achieve their goals?

I’m a firm believer of if its meant to be, it will be! It doesn’t matter how bad or how good you are, you need some luck on the day. I think a podium in a national final should be classed mentally as a victory. If you finish in the top 3, it’s often one referee decision, one bit of luck, one mistake, or one bit of good or bad fortune, why you come first, or lose out to somebody else! All you can do is train hard, believe in yourself and ride your bike to the best of your ability on the day.

Thanks for your time Andy, all the best for this weekend!

Tune in later in the week, where we will be speaking to more of our title winners before the big weekend.