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Taking a ride back in time. . .; CYCLE SPEEDWAY.

Byline: JOHN WILKINSON

A COVENTRY team will be back in cycle speedway action tomorrow for the first time in 13 years.

Interest in the two-wheel sport, which originated at the end of the Second World War and peaked in the 1970s and early 80s when every area of the city boasted its own team, has waned in Coventry in recent years.

But now a group of former riders - led by ex-world champion Ray Oliver - have decided that the time is right to put the city back on the map and will be riding in this summer's Midlands League against teams from Wolverhampton, Wednesfield, Stoke, Birmingham and Leicester.

The new Coventry squad - sponsored by Devlin's Newsagents - travels to East London for a pre-season friendly against Canning Town (3pm).

All fixtures will be away to begin with, but the team is hoping that the old track at Hearsall Common can be brought back up to shape in the next few months.

Oliver, who won the 1994 world title in Australia, is backed by four- times British team champion Mick Docker, ex-motocross rider Mark Giles, 1982 English League junior champion Ian Batley, and an experienced trio of Jez Hughes, Wayne Campbell and Tim Metcalfe.

The final place in the eight-man team - managed by Steve Bromwich - will be decided on the day and lies between three newcomers.

"We are all coming out of retirement in an attempt to re-establish cycle speedway in the city," said Docker.

"It hasn't been easy as we have no track of our own in Coventry at the moment, but we are hoping to find a whole new generation of riders and our progress is really encouraging."

The team, whose colours are blue, white and yellow, will make their Midlands League bow next Sunday away to Leicester.

CAPTION(S):

HEYDAY: Ray Oliver in action
COPYRIGHT 2001 Coventry Newpapers
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Mar 17, 2001
Words:304
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