NEWS Saturday 2nd September 2017, 1:45am
Parsons Peebles’ reserve Max Clegg was a happy man after landing his second trophy in a week at tonight’s Caledonian Riders’ Championship at Armadale, beating Coty Garcia and Jacob Bukhave in the final.
He said “I’m chuffed to have won the two trophies. It was a hard lineup tonight and it will be a boost to my confidence with some big matches coming up. The track was awesome, I wasn’t making great starts but I did make one in the final.”
The Monarchs’ no. 6 was probably favourite for the meeting, given that he is capable of beating almost anyone round Armadale, but his recent form has been patchy and he was delighted to add this victory to the Belgian Golden Helmet won last weekend. He now faces some big meetings for Monarchs starting next Friday with the double header against Workington and Ipswich.
One or two of his likely rivals for tonight’s event did not make it to the latter stages, notably Mitchell Davey who was run into the fence in his opening ride. His withdrawal was especially unfortunate as in each of his races he would have clashed with one of the other leading contenders, who were thus left to win comfortably to the detriment of the entertainment. We also lost James Sarjeant in the semi-final after he had run into Coty Garcia on the opening bends. Perhaps an “all four” decision would have been beneficial there.
Max had been top qualifier with 11 points, losing only to Sarjeant who finished on 10. There were three riders on 8, Jacob Bukhave (Denmark), Dany Gappmaier (Austria and Berwick) and Luke Ruddick, the most successful Scot who rides for Mildenhall.
The first semi was probably the race of the night with Bukhave passing Clegg only for the home man to return the compliment, both passes being spectacular outside moves on the “road bend”.
In the second semi there was only one finisher, that being former Redcar man Coty Garcia. Sarjeant was the first exclusion, Buxton’s Tom Woolley fell on the first turn and then Ruddick took a purler at a later stage. The Fen Tiger was nevertheless up and ready for the final very speedily, and all of the riders did their bit for the smooth running of the meeting (17 heats in 105 minutes).
Max made his best gate of the night in the final and never looked like being caught though as always Garcia made a determined race of it with Bukhave not too far away either. Ruddick as top Scot won a special award from Bert Harkins.
The Junior event was for the meeting reserves and those who didn’t make the semis, and the winner there was Kieran Douglas who has fought his way back from injury and hadn’t ridden Armadale for a while.
The crowd probably exceeded expectations, drawn out by the good weather and the fact that Armadale had not seen speedway for three weeks!