AN INTERNATIONAL cycle speedway star from Coventry is preparing for one of the biggest weekend’s of his racing career as he travels south for the European Championships.
Potters Green resident Myke Grimes has raced cycle speedway since the age of 16 and has already competed for Team GB, featured in a trio of British Finals and helped guide his Coventry club into the Elite League – the sports highest tier in the UK.
However, with the help of sponsor Craig Wale, Myke will now embark on one of his biggest challenges in the sport when tackling Europe’s best riders in Southampton and Poole.
Grimes agonisingly missed out on a spot in last year’s World Final in Wolverhampton when falling just short of qualification at the semi final stage at East Park.
Despite last year’s set back, Grimes is on an all time high after clocking career best scores in the Elite League, Midland League and coaching some of Coventry’s brightest stars who are experiencing their own national success.
The 31-year-old, who started racing at the age of 16, said he first learnt the art of cycle speedway racing in his back garden when Coventry was without a team.
He added: “My father was an ex-rider and I grew up dreaming of racing myself – but at the time Coventry didn’t have a club.
“When Coventry reformed my dad took me down to the Hearsall Common track to have a spin before I started university life in London.
“Fast forward eight years and I fancied another crack at it.
“I remember my first meeting back after taking a long break, I scored a lot of points but did throw up after my second and third rides.”
Grimes described the competition he will be facing this weekend as some of the toughest of his career.
Though dozens of world class riders will face a premature exit before Sunday’s final at Poole, Grimes is determined to not be the one taking the early bath and will be using his quick-starting confidence to his advantage.
He said: “I’ve trained hard all winter at the gym and throughout the season on track, I’ve got my eyes set on the final.
“I must mention my magnificent sponsor Craig Wale who without I would not be competing this weekend, he’s been incredibly generous this season and I can’t thank him enough.
“I race most weekends but also run the Coventry club nights on Wednesday’s where we welcome all new riders to the sport from 6pm at our Hearsall Common base.
“The sport is superb – it’s keeps you fit, healthy and I’ve made many lifetime friends.”
If you would like to try your hand at cycle speedway racing, Coventry offer free coaching sessions – led by Myke – at their Hearsall Common track every Wednesday from 6pm.
The club provides helmets, gloves and bikes – all they ask if for the participating rider to cover any visible skin.
Visit www.coventrycyclespeedway.co.uk for further information.