RIDER NEWS: Hudson hangs up his wheels

After 15 years in Cycle Speedway, Rich Hudson has decided to retire and hang up his wheels. His career started at the age of five when he started going training at the Graves track with his elder brother Robert who was a member of the Star’s team that saw so much success in the first decade of the 2000’s.

Growing up and riding with the likes of the Birks Brothers, Jono & Ash, Martin & Simon Gamble, Jamie Brown, Ryan Hoyland, Chris Turner and Pete Pearson, Rich soon got to grips with the sport and developed very quickly as a rider.

The big turning point came for him when he started racing and training with Sheffield’s many Polish riders who came to race for the club, Pawel Kozlowski, Radek Sieradski, Darius Pilas and Marcin Symanski made a big impact on all the Sheffield team and Rich thrived being around these true greats of the sport.

He started racing in the British Youth & Junior League and made many friends up & down the country and finished 3rd overall in the series two years on the trot. Between the ages of 13-16 he hit peak form wining the Northern Riders U16 Championship, representing GB in Australia and scoring a solid 17pts, being selected to ride for England in the Home International at Newport and racing in the Sheffield Elite League 1st & 2nd teams. A call up for the Yorkshire team who beat Lancashire at Heckmondwike was another proud moment for him.

Rich’s short statue made him the ideal Indoor racer and from a young age it was obvious he had a natural skill for racing on the wood. A runner up spot in the U13 British Championship was followed by back to back wins in the U16 British Champs in 2013/14. He fulfilled his career ambition of winning a coveted champions white jersey.

VIEW: Rich Hudson’s career in photos (article continued below)

On leaving school he went to work as a Bicycle mechanic for Sheffield company Bike Rehab and is carving out a career with them. In fact, his progress with the company has resulted in less free time for Cycle Speedway and training.

Rich commented “ I have had brilliant time racing for Sheffield and I will never forget the trips to U.S.A and Australia twice, with Jamie, Vicky and Ian Brown who made it all possible by agreeing to put up with me for the duration “ He further added, “ It was a hard decision to call it a day, but with work, lack a of time to train, I didn’t want to just make the numbers up, if I was going to race I had to compete. A fact that all my close friends who used to race have retired also convinced me it was time to go. The traveling was beginning to take its toll, I just wish the tracks were closer together “

As mentioned earlier Rich represented Sheffield in the Elite League and also the Northern League, he was full of praise for the riders who were his team mates. “In the Elite, there were so many great riders at Sheffield, Andy Angell, Gavin Parr, Ryan Hoyland, Mitch Spear, Pawel Idzorek, Mikey Hewitson, Bobby Mcmillan, Jason Burke and Myke Grimes to mention just a few”

“I think the Northern League team is looking good, Adam Watson had a great season last year, Ed Morton came on leaps & bounds and Sam Haines will make a top rider, with Niall, Luke, Vicky & Laura, that’s not a bad side”

Rich has started playing Sunday League football with many of his old-school friends and a few ex riders as well, Aiden Owen & Zach Smurthwaite to name two. He is hanging on to his bike and is even talking about going down for a spin when he can, but not until it gets a bit warmer!

Good luck for the future Rich, and thanks for your great service to CS from 33/18 News.