Cycle Speedway to represent US in World Championship Races

(2002 Web-site Archive)

Cycle Speedway held its pre-season press conference this past Saturday at the Yeopim / Ruritan Club outside the city limits of Edenton.  Cycle Speedway showed off its new officers and officially released the 2002 schedule along with other information.  The big announcement of the morning came when speedway president, Brian White announced the proposed trip to Europe in the 2003 World Championship Bicycle Races.  Brian White has been networking with the British Cycling Federations, National Cycle Speedway chairman, Rod Witham, in Great Britain.  Cycle Speedway of Edenton is not affiliated with the Cycle Speedway’s in Europe.  "It’s a small world after all," Brian stated when announcing the similar names of the bicycle racetracks. 

The British Cycling Federation is the parent company to many bicycle racing organizations around the world and proudly hosts the "Cycle Speedway" races in Europe.  Cycle Speedway in Europe hosts all together different racing.  The tracks are smaller in length, 60 to 90 meters.  There is only 4 racers that race at a time, the winner receives 4 points, with 2nd receiving 3 points, 3rd receiving 2 points, and 4th receiving 1 point.  Racers advance rounds by accumulating a certain amount of points.  The world championship races will be held with the same setup.  Some of the tracks are asphalt and some are dirt tracks.

 Cycle Speedway in Edenton would be the first US team in history.  Other competing nations are England, Sweden, Finland, Scotland of Whales, Poland, Australia, and now possible the US.  The Edenton Cycle Speedway would carry over 5 Junior competitors (male / female under 18) and 5 senior competitors (male / female any age).  The speedway would also carry over 2 backup racers in both divisions.  The Speedway board of directors will pick two competitors in both divisions for the April 20th season opening race.  "We need to go ahead and pick our team by the middle of this year," Brian stated due to the difference in European racing style compared to the races in Edenton.  Practice in European style racing will be crucial in competing well in 2003. 

With the major honor of competing in the world championship races comes a big price tag.  The speedway’s senior vice president, and chief financial officer, John Turner, announced the proposed dollar amount at $70,000, which would include round trip plane tickets.  Corporate sponsors will be needed for this endeavor.  Many fund-raisers are also being planned. 

Many of the members around the world are buzzing about a proposed US team.   "The United States does well in almost all sports, why not bicycle racing," Rod Witham stated. He went on to say,  "we recognize that the sport of Cycle Speedway is in its infancy in America but we are equally aware that the United States is a country that is synonymous with sporting excellence and achievements.  Not unexpectedly there are differences in racing styles and techniques – just as there was when Australia entered the international scene two decades ago.  But in keeping with finest American traditions, we expect your riders will be quick to learn and that it will not be many years before we see United States riders on the international victory rostrum – and, dare I say it, American heading the cycle speedway world."  

Cycle Speedway of Edenton is hoping to make this dream come true, how sweet it would be to see the US do well in the 2003 events.  The first tryout date to make the US team is Saturday, May 11th at the speedway at 10am.


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