Speedway ace Tai Woffinden won the World Championship in 2013, despite having damaged ribs.
No Household Name
It was a gutsy, heroic exhibition of master class speedway riding. Not often we can cheer a Britain on to an International win, is it? Not all of the country was cheering though.
You can't exactly say Tai is a household name, even though he has just secured the British Championship again. Speedway is on the edge of telly watching sport. On the cusp of mega money sponsored sport.
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Therefore, it never quite generates the pay and prize money the likes of football or formula 1 can receive. The thing is, it can be more exciting than most sports put together. Try watching a few races and tell me different.
These guys risk life and limb to go full pelt round and round a small track, with little more than a door width to get through to avoid taking someone down, and all this with no brakes.
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Riders have to race on consecutive days in different countries to make ends meet. The pay isn't great and venues not plush, but their passion for the sport is far greater than the earnings or surroundings, which is just as well. I'm sure Woffinden or the current world champion, Greg Hancock, wouldn't mind having the luxury motorhome afforded to Lewis Hamilton in Formula 1.
Alas, while the sponsorship and media coverage stay under the radar, the likelihood is remote. Although seeing the crowd and feeling the atmosphere at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff on the 4th July, you would be forgiven for thinking this was a top notch sport. It was mind-blowingly loud, foot-stomping exciting. Packed to the rafters with Speedway fans.
Woffy loves speedway and is working hard to get the title back to Britain. He has even forsaken the Elite League, riding for Wolverhampton Wolves, to concentrate on riding in Poland. He found it was just to much to jet back and forth from Britain to Europe and sustain the high standard needed for the championship race.
Although he didn't win last weeks British Grand Prix he picked up 15 points to stay top of the leader board and 12 points ahead of Nicki Pederson in second place. Reigning World Champion, American Greg Hancock is lying third, 16 points adrift.
Greg vows to keep pushing Woffinden although it won't be easy. There are still eight rounds left, next in Latvia on July 18, Hancock will be pushing hard to win his forth title. Don't forget Nicki Pederson, he is always ready to push his way through to win.
Don't rule out the 2012 World Champion after his brilliant comeback at the British Grand Prix, grabbing 18 points from a possible 21 which now sits him in six place. He is now coming back to form after his long injury break.
Whatever, they will ultimately have to get past Woffinden. I know where my money is, what about you?
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