The Internationale 1974
For Barry Briggs, it was back to the future. Riding for Wimbledon and back at Wimbledon for the Wills Internationale, still 'the Best in Smoking'.
It was Monday, May 27 and despite Briggo winning heat 1, the new kids on the block socked it to the regulars.
John Louis threw it away. Four wins but a round 4 tapes exclusion cost him the Title. He did not bother with the 2nd place run-off. Speedway's 'Crown Prince' Peter Collins it was who did the Ballroom Blitz, beaten only by Louis, taking home the brand new Jawa.
Ole Olsen started well but had no answer to Louis and Collins in heat 10. And what a jump for Kangaroo Bob Valentine, beating Olsen in heat 15!
What of the Kiwis? Briggo's first heat win was his only one but he had great fun. Ivan Mauger was recovering from a recent illness and was in no state to line up as events turned out. Instead of heading to London, he rode for Exeter that morning, scoring 14 points in a challenge match and drained his batteries to zero. Fully fit, he would have got away with it.
Heat 1. BRIGGS, Crump, Valentine. Simmons fall.
Peter Collins 14. Ray Wilson 12. Ole Olsen 12. John Louis 12. Bob Valentine 10. Terry Betts 10. Martin Ashby 8. BARRY BRIGGS 7. Dave Jessup 7. Phil Crump 6. Malcolm Simmons 5. Anders Michanek 5. Res Billy Sanders 3. Res Reider Eide 3. Tommy Jansson 2. Res George Hunter 0. IVAN MAUGER 0. John Boulger 0.
This article was first published on 19th April 2020
"I remember this meeting has if it was yesterday (not 46 years ago). This was the first time a bunch of us lads (Long Eaton Archers Supporters) had taken our wives/girlfriends to an big individual meeting. We arrived early and went to watch the South London Rangers Cycle Speedway team against a Select Side. An entertaining match, which the Rangers won. I have the program somewhere.
Any way, off to the meeting. My mate Paul's GF (later wife) was a massive John Boulger fan, who fell in his first ride and was unable to continue due to a shoulder injury. It was a great meeting for another Friend (Big Rog) wife, because Peter Collins won it, and she was from Manchester and an Aces Fan.
The fates hadn't finished with us yet. On the way home, the Mini bus broke down. Gary and Tony who drove the bus had to trudge over a mile to the nearest breakdown phone box. After dropping everybody off safely I finally crawled into bed around 5 the following morning. Later I rang my the girlfriend (at the time) Loran up to see how she was, and had to explain to her irate Dad, what had happened to the bus. Any way thanks for reading the story and the memories of an Old Man."
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