||Last Updated: Feb 18th, 2016 - 21:05:27
Coventry Cycle Speedway club have this week announced their scoop signing of the close season so far – and the biggest ever signing in the clubs history.
After months of growing speculation, Coventry finally landed the prized signature of three times British champion Andy Angell from Hull to lead their Elite league attack. Angell will continue to race for his parent club in regional racing.
Angell, aged 27 years old, won the British final – the sport’s biggest UK accolade – in 2011, 2012 and 2014. He is the most successful British rider of the past ten years and the most decorated British rider to have signed for the club since racing returned to the city in 2011.
Amid the flurry of rider signings in recent weeks, Angell was the rider the club were most interested in when club bosses decided to seek elevation into the Elite league. They have been in constant contractual discussions with him since the World final last summer.
It is thought Angell`s close friendship with Coventry club official Mark Phillips, and several others, was one of the key elements in Angell joining the Hearsall Common outfit. Another telling factor is Angell`s wish to see the sport promoted to high presentational standards – an area that Coventry excel in.
Angell started racing at 12 years of age and he soon progressed at junior level. He broke into the Hull first team aged 15 years and soon helped them win the Northern Regional League.
He made a successful transition to senior national stardom, becoming an annual British finalist. As well as his three British crowns, Angell has also won countless major events on the individual circuit. He is an automatic choice for Great Britain and helped his home country to Test match glory over Australia last summer.
It is only at major international events that Angell has failed to replicate his British final winning form. By moving to Coventry, he hopes to address his lack of individual championship success on the world stage.
Angell is renown as one of the fittest riders in the modern era. He is a personal trainer by profession and works out five days a week in the gym for Cycle Speedway fitness. Although very fast from the tapes, Angell relies on his awesome fitness levels to win many of his points from the back.
His swashbuckling all-action style, his brilliance at overtaking and his fearless mode of racing makes him one of the most entertaining riders ever to have reached the very top of the sport.
He is sure to find the sweeping banked bends of Hearsall Common, with its multiple overtaking options, to his liking. Angell will be leading the Coventry attack when Elite League action races into the city on Sunday 3rd April at 2pm. Ipswich are the visitors.
In a fleeting visit to Coventry for Media pictures last Saturday, Angell met with Coventry officials and was officially welcomed to the city by Councilor Lindsley Harvard, Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Coventry.
Angell said: “I have watched with growing admiration of the rise and rise of the Coventry Cycle Speedway club over the past three years. Like all the top riders of recent years, we can`t wait to race at Coventry in major events.
“Their staging of the Great Britain V Australia Test match was simply magnificent. The Coventry club seemed to somehow, for two hours that day, transport Cycle Speedway from a minor sport to promote it like you would see a major professional sports final on TV.
“The club have big plans for the future and are even hoping to relocate to a new facility. It’s great to be along for this exciting ride”.
Councilor Harvard said: "What a fantastic signing for Coventry: three times British champion; the most successful British rider of the last 10 years. It just goes to show how successful Coventry Cycle Speedway Club is. I am honored to present him with his shirt".
Senior Coventry club official Andy Drewett said: “We are absolutely delighted to have signed Andy. Our team plans for all levels of racing for 2016 is looking very good and Andy will bring fantastic scoring potential to our Elite league team”.
Drewett`s son Dan, one of the most promising of Coventry`s home grown talent, said: “It will be cool to race with such a great rider as Andy. His signing can only bring our own local youngsters on. It will be great racing with and learning from a three times British champion”.
And, Mason Phillips, who joined Coventry as 13-year-old junior, and who finished seventh in last year’s World Junior final, was ecstatic. The now 17-year-old said: “I have modelled my bike, my racing style and my whole professional approach on Andy Angell. He`s my hero. All of the Coventry juniors will learn so much from him”.
Top of Page