The Soviet speedway team, one of the strongest in the world, met its match on Monday (7 June) when team members rode against the British team of Reading.
GV PAN Start of first heat and bikes around track
GV Marshall signals final lap and riders pass. Dave Jessup around track and wins first heat
GV Track officials
GV PAN ZOOM FROM Start of heat two TO riders around track, as Bernie Leigh crashes
SV Marshal signals last lap
GV PAN Mikhail Starostin (USSR) winning second heat
GV PAN FROM Start of 5th heat to riders around track
GV PAN Mick Bell wins fifth heat
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Background: The Soviet speedway team, one of the strongest in the world, met its match on Monday (7 June) when team members rode against the British team of Reading.
SYNOPSIS: As the first head started, the Reading team had the advantage of riding on their home track in the west of England. But the Russians were far too experienced to be very worried by that. Vladimir Gordeev and Victor Trofimov put the pressure on the British from the start.
But it was one of the British riders, Dave Jessup, who was leading as the riders received the final lap flag. His team mate, Bolek Proch, wasn't doing so well though, bringing up the rear. The races were scored so that the winner got three points, second two points, third received one point and the last man got nothing. And it was Jessup who managed to stay ahead of the Russians to take the first heat.
The teams were standing level as four more riders came up to the start for the second heat. Bernie Leigh and Ian Gledhill were riding for Reading and Ian Gledhill were riding for Reading and Mikhail Starostin with Vladimir Kezmetzov for the Soviet Union.
Bernie Leigh was hoping to make it two wins for his team but the race was soon over for him.
With Leigh out of the way, Starostin and Kezmetzo came through to take first and second places, giving their team a four point lead. And the Soviet team stayed ahead until the fifth heat. Trofimov was back on the start line along with Vladimir Gordeev. For Reading, it was Bob Humphres and Mick Bell.
Bell took an early lead and stayed there. He went on to win with team mate Humphreys coming in second. It put Reading six points ahead and it was a gap that the Soviet team didn't manage to close during the remaining events. Reading finished the match with 46 points to the Russians' 32.