CYCLE SPEEDWAY: THE cycle speedway history books were rewritten on Monday afternoon as Myke Grimes became only the second rider ever to win the British Individual Championships with a full maximum.
The Coventry favourite posted an unquestionable 20-point haul at Wednesfield’s Ashmore Park to the delight of hundreds of cycle speedway followers from across the country.
Grimes had to overcome five rides to win the championship, and – remarkably – he didn’t have to make one pass in the races he completed.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for the Sabres skipper though. In heat seven, Grimes’ second ride, he had a stroke of luck when the original staging of the race was stopped due to a racing incident.
The 32-year-old hit the deck with defending champion Ben Mould during the second lap while in last place. But Mould was deemed to be the cause of the stoppage by referee Wayne Aris, and Grimes comfortably won the re-run.
That race followed a sensational win in Grimes’ first ride. From grid four – the most disadvantageous starting position – Grimes swooped around his three rivals in a move which wasn’t seen again all afternoon to win from the gate.
A standout performance from home favourite Paul Heard meant the IT worker had to finish first in his final ride to win the title.
From gate two, Grimes overhauled former Coventry man Ben Higham to win in dominant style – sending the Coventry fans into raptures.
Speaking to The Observer after the championship win, Grimes admitted he believed he could win the title from the moment he woke up.
“I barely spoke in the car journey to the track,” said Grimes.
“I knew I could do it. This is the result of six years of hard work. Sacrificing my lunch breaks at work to go to the gym has helped and eating right.
“I hope the win will inspire more people to visit Hearsall Common and have a go at the sport themselves.”
Lifting the championship topped off ascending 12 months for the now British Champion.
He overcame heartache at last year’s final, where the title was snatched out of his hands in a dramatic final heat, to land the nation’s most prestigious prize.
He said: “It was a bit emotional when the family came over. I shod a tear of joy.
“The Coventry support was second to none and I’m proud to be a part of it.
“I thought Paul (Heard) rode incredibly well. On any other day he would’ve won the title himself. I really had to dig deep in my last ride but thankfully I put in a good gate and built a lead.”