Jon Armstrong has thrown down the gauntlet to his Mildenhall Fen Tigers team-mates after setting his sights on gaining the number one race jacket as soon as possible
The 41-year-old sent out the warning message at the club’s annual Meet The Riders event on Saturday to those who have their eyes on the coveted number one spot. It will be held until the first average changes by the returning Dan Halsey.
“It’s mine and I’m coming for it,” said Armstrong. “I like being number one and I like being out in heat one, and for much of my time in the National League I have ridden in that spot and I don’t want that to be any different this season.
“I want to get it as soon as possible - by the time the first average changes are out.
“Obviously Dan Halsey doesn’t want to give up the number one, so he will have to be on fire and be that little bit hotter than me, while Connor Mountain has ambitions on it and Connor Coles has been building his confidence out in Australia and he will want a big race jacket.”
Although last year was one to forget for the Fen Tigers, the Oldham-based rider, who is set for his third spell at the club, hopes to re-ignite the team spirit that had served the team so well in seasons gone by.
“I don’t know the ins and outs of what went on last year around the club, but I heard a few rumours,” said Armstrong.
“Dan Halsey didn’t seem himself last season for whatever reason, but I am here to help take the pressure off him and everyone else and help where I can.
“A lot of things can get you down as a rider and you can get in a rut which you can’t see a way out of.
“I just want to try to keep everyone’s heads up and make sure everyone enjoys themselves.”
While there are several strong contenders for the National League, including last year’s champions Birmingham Brummies, Armstrong believes the Fen Tigers could well be the dark horses.
“I look on these forums and chuckle to myself as Eastbourne don’t rate themselves that highly, but I think that’s them playing games, while people are talking up Birmingham again,” said Armstrong.
“We seem to have been overlooked and I say: ‘write us off at your peril’.
“I think we have got a really solid side and I know I’m going to put at least a point-and-a-half on my average.
“Coming back here has got me fired up for it.”
n The Fen Tigers will get their 2016 National League season under way with a trip to the Rye House Raiders on Monday, March 28.
n Turn to page 87 for an interview with Rob Henry.