The BLRC 1980
Les Collins returned to his former home and demolished a handful of the World's best riders in what many considered to be a shock result.
Belle Vue, October 18 and Les went into the Heat 20 decider needing one point to secure the Title. Bruce Penhall and Jan Andersson both had 9 points and they were joined by the defender John Louis. When Penhall made the gate, Les was happy to tuck in behind and wrap it all up. The win saw Penhall take second place and while he smiled for the camera, Superman would not have been happy!
Larry Ross yet again lived well among the Top Guns without being one himself. Peter Collins was another who could not have got home fast enough.
Talking point was the sensational debut of Kenny Carter. Two wins including a photo finish against Penhall, he has the lead in Round 3 only to pull out, explaining that he saw a spectator wave a chequered flag. Wot the ...? Never mind chequered flag, in hindsight, that was a red one!
Then in Round 4, he clips Hans Nielsen's wheel, finds himself at the back and gives up. In Heat 19 he beats Larry Ross in a brilliant scrap to show what really lay ahead. It was what lies beneath that no-one saw coming.
Billy Sanders had qualified but had to return to Australia while World Champion Mike Lee had a disaster night, crashing in Round 3 and having to retire injured. What he needed was a good skinful of beer eh?!
Heat 1. Carter, Andersson, Lee, Petersen.
Les Collins Leicester 14. Bruce Penhall Cradley Heath 12. LARRY ROSS Wimbledon 11. Jan Andersson Reading 10. Hans Nielsen Wolverhampton 10. Peter Collins Belle Vue 10. Kenny Carter Halifax 9. Scott Autrey Swindon 8. Ole Olsen Coventry 7. Dennis Sigalos Hull 6. John Louis Ipswich 5. Steve Bastable Birmingham 5. Bo Petersen Hackney 4. Malcolm Simmons Poole 3. Mike Lee Kings Lynn 3. Res Bernie Collier Belle Vue 2. Gordon Kennett Eastbourne 1. Res Mike Wilding Belle Vue 0. Res Doug Wyer Sheffield dnr. Billy Sanders Ipswich q ns.
This article was first published on 1st November 2020
"Remember this meeting very well as my wife went in to labour in the early afternoon (we lived about 6 miles from Hyde Road) and off to hospital we went. My daughter entered the world at 6pm and I spent around couple of hours there and then got myself off to Belle Vue arriving at heat 9. Quite apt that Les C won as I was originally a Leicester lad and still a Lions fan. Fourty years on and I was taking Kerry my daughter to Torun for this year's GP to celebrate her 40th until Boris put a stop to it by sticking Polska on the quarantine list and we couldn't go because of self isolation (over £600 down the swanee)."
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