The riders who will be appearing at Telford 2004 are as follows :-
Shaun TACEY – Shaun turned out for his 2nd Telford experience last year and had a lot more success than on his debut. He is a rider who is getting better as he has more rides on the ice. Last time, he was a losing semi-finalist in the Pairs with Les Collins and then went on to score nine points in the British Open Championship.
——————————————— Tony ATKIN – Tony is back for his seventh appearance, 10 years after he made his debut. In the British Open, he has yet to make the rostrom (4th in ’96 is his best) but he can be something of a spoiler as normally he scores around double figures. Twice a Pairs Champion (with Wayne Broadhurst on both occassions), he will have a fun day no matter what the outcome. Is back for a second season with the Newport Wasps in the 2004 Premier League.
——————————————— Emiliano SANCHEZ – Emiliano will be making his debut on the Telford Ice and is sure to be spectacular. He has an all-action style whan on shale so this should be no different. When the outdoor season starts in March, he will line up for his 3rd british club after his winter move to Hull from Trelawny.
——————————————— Bobby SCHWARTZ – Bobby has ridden at the indoor event at Brighton but has decided to ride on the ice for the first time when he heard that his lifelong pal Bruce Penhall was going to appear. He was in touch with both the promoters and Penhall to offer his services and will be one of the former World Champions match-race opponents.
——————————————— James GRIEVES – James made his Telford debut in 2002 and had a pretty successful day with runners-up spot in the Pairs with Kevin Little and hit double figures in the evening’s British Open, good enough for fourth place. On the shale in 2004, he is a prt of a very strong-looking Glasgow side that will start the season among the favourites for honours.
——————————————— Andy SMITH – Three times a British Champoin on the shale and one of the longest serving GP riders, Andy has the same problem this year as most of the last few, nobody seems willing to offer him a team place. Back for a 5th appearance, Andy has a steady record in the Britsh Open but has tasted successin the Pairs Championship in the past.
——————————————— Adam SHIELDS – The former Premier League Riders Champion is another newcomer to the Telford arena. Having acquitted himself well for the Isle of Wight, Adam has now moved up to the Elite League on a full-time basis with the Eastbourne Eagles. He is a polished performer and will put his talents to good use on the ice, being something of a dark horse amongst the ‘unknowns’
——————————————— Chris HARRIS – The new Coventry signing was a star performer with both Peterborough and Trelawny in 2003 as well a picking up 2nd place in the World Under 21 Final. If you have seen him race on shale, watching him on the Telford ice is going to be something else!!
——————————————— Anders HENRIKSSON – The former Newport star didn’t ride in the UK in 2003 (apart from at Telford) and that could be the same this year. Anders will be back for his sixth appearance and hopes to go one better than last year when he fininshed runner-up in the British Open (for the 2nd time) to Jan Staechmann. His last conventional speedway season was spent on loan at Reading in 2002 but will we see him back in 2004?
——————————————— Edward KENNETT – Young Edward has made a metioric rise through the speedway ranks since he became old enough to race competitively. Just seventeen years old, he will ride for Eastbourne in the 2004 Elite League. From prime speedway stock (his father & uncles all rode in the past), Edward rode for Rye House in 2003 but had a spell out with a broken leg and still topped the Rockets’ averages!! Makes his Telford debut this time around.
——————————————— Aidan COLLINS – Joins his father Les in becoming the first father & son to race at Telford. Aidan makes his debut in 2004 and has become accustomed to people comparing him with his old man but likes nothing better than finishing in front when they meet. Has ridden in the same team as dad and also in opposition but will probably seek advice from him on this occasion. Rode for Workington in 2003 and will hope to be back again to continue his career on the shale.
——————————————— Les COLLINS – Having taken 16 years to return to the Telford ice, the fans won’t have to wait that length of time to see Les again. In typical all-action style, he was as entertaining as he usually is when out on the shale. No doubt he will have learned a lot from 2003 and will be more competitive this time around. Even if he isn’t, he will be exciting to watch. Les will hope to be back at Glasgow for 2004 as he intends to carry on racing on the shale.
——————————————— Jan STAECHMANN – Has been at Telford nearly as often as Messrs Thomas & Drury. He regained the British Open Championship from Wayne Broadhurst to add to his triumph in 2001. He will look to retain the Trophy (fellow countryman Hans Nielsen was last to do this back in 1995) but will face stiff opposition as usual. Jan has returned to Stoke for the 2004 speedway season and is very much at home there, just as he is on the Telford ice!!
——————————————— David HOWE – Hard to believe but he has only just reached 21. First rode on the Telford ice in 2000 but had rather mixed fortunes. Never one to be afraid of a challenge, he returned in 2002 and did enough in the British Open forthird place overall. In 2003, he lifted the Pairs title with Graham Jones and also picked up another top 5 finish in the Individual event. Will be at Wolverhampton for the 2004 speedway season.
——————————————— Mario JIROUT – The 1998 British Open Champion will hopefully be back this time as he was forced to miss the last meetings after being involved in a car crash while back in the Czech Republic. He managed to return to the shale with Somerset towards the end of their 2003 season and fingers crosseed that he makes it to the ice for Telford 2004. Always one to entertain the crowds, he was missed in 2003.
——————————————— Wayne BROADHURST – The former British Open Champion joins a very select group in making his 10th Telford appearance. Having lost the individual crown to Jan Staechmann, Wayne will be going all out to regain it. He will undoubtedly be one of the top challengers as he hasn’t finished out of the top 4 in the last eight years!! Wayne didn’t have a successful time (by his standards) on the ice in 2003 but he made up for it on the shale by winning the Conference League with Mildenhall.