Mildenhall Fen Tigers rider Jason Edwards excited to be representing Great Britain at the FIM European Under-19 Championships
Mildenhall Fen Tigers star Jason Edwards is hoping that he can catch the eye of those watching on the continent by reaching the final of this year’s FIM European Under-19 Championships, writes Graham Clark.
The 16-year-old will fly the flag for Britain when pushing for a top eight qualifying spot in the opening semi-final of the competition in Pardubice, Czech Republic tomorrow.
Despite the step up in competition Edwards, who doubles up riding for Championship side Eastbourne Eagles, is confident he can make it through to Sunday’s final in Zarnovica, Slovakia.
“The whole thing will be a big experience and I want to get as much as I can out of it,” said Edwards.
“The fact I’ve been chosen shows that they think I’m up there with the top under-19 riders in Britain, and is a step in the right direction.
“There will be promoters from other clubs and different countries out there and a good performance could help to get a league place in Europe in the future.
“The track is massive but I think I should be able to finish in the top eight and I don’t care where I come if I do qualify.”
Assessing the competition Edwards will have one familiar face up against him while he has identified the two riders that could give him most to think about.
“Ethan Spiller is in the event and I rode with him down at Eastbourne last year so it will be good to see him again,” said Edwards.
“Mads Hansen and Philip Hellstrom-Bangs will be up there while you never know what the Polish riders will be like.
“As we are all under-19 riders though, the whole meeting should be quite close.”
Back on home shores Henry Atkins feels that the Fen Tigers have the perfect opportunity to propel themselves up the National League table when taking in three meetings in four days starting with a trip to Smallbrook tonight to face the Isle Of Wight Warriors (7pm).
“These will still be tough meetings but I think we can get most of the points on offer and if we do, that should put us in a good place and shoot us up the table and keep our push for the play-offs on,” said Atkins.
“I’ve had some really good meetings at the Isle Of Wight and it is a track I enjoy. It is a place where the harder you ride the better the result and although it is bumpy that is part of the fun.”
Though Atkins will miss the return fixture against the Warriors at West Row on Sunday (3pm) due to his grass track commitments he hopes he can use his extensive track knowledge to help them secure victory against basement side Plymouth Gladiators tomorrow (7.15pm).
“The boys will be looking for me with set-ups as I rode there for two seasons,” said Atkins. “I know how to ride the track and I want to go out there and show what I can do.
“I know they lost to Leicester and they will be looking for a good performance but the boys have already won there in the Trophy and we can do it again.”