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'They Retired Too Soon'

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On 7/7/2021 at 4:09 PM, arnieg said:

Dag Lovaas was only 25 during his final British season (1976), having reached the world final in 1974 and won the league with a 10pt+ average in 1973 riding for Reading. He also averaged over 10 for Hackney (74) and Oxford (75).

I believe his retirement was complete and he did not ride domestically after leaving British speedway.

Dag was brilliant. So classy. He was virtually unbeatable in the wet. I always felt that if he'd rode in 1977 and reached the rain-soaked World Final he would have won it.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Grachan said:

Dag was brilliant. So classy. He was virtually unbeatable in the wet. I always felt that if he'd rode in 1977 and reached the rain-soaked World Final he would have won it.

Dag was one of my favourites...recall his sublime 15 point maximum in the wet during Mike Keen's Testimonial Meeting. So glad Olsen never made it to Oxford and we got Dag instead! Such a shame his move to White City didn't really work out but he still registered a near 8 point average.

Edited by steve roberts

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4 minutes ago, steve roberts said:

Dag was one of my favourites...recall his sublime 15 point maximum in the wet during Mike Keen's Testimonial Meeting. So glad Olsen never made it to Oxford and we got Dag instead! Such a shame his move to White City didn't really work out but he still registered a near 8 point average.

I nearly mentioned the maximum in Mike Keen's Testimonial.  I remember Mike Keen going onto the second bend with a hosepipe and watering the track in the midst of a rain storm!

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3 minutes ago, steve roberts said:

Dag was one of my favourites...recall his sublime 15 point maximum in the wet during Mike Keen's Testimonial Meeting. So glad Olsen never made it to Oxford and we got Dag instead! Such a shame his move to White City didn't really work out but he still registered a near 8 point average.

I remember the Keen meeting well Steve how that meeting was staged god knows it rained all day.Remember going to Wembley in 1974 for the European Final Dag had a bad fall in his fourth ride but won his last ride to qualify on seven points.Remember the meeting mainly because Terry Betts qualified for his only one world final unbelievable really a class act.Going back to Dag he was terrific for the Hawks had a shot at the Golden helmet which was no mean feat also his days at Reading with Michanek, Curtis( RIP) were great days.

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7 minutes ago, Sidney the robin said:

I remember the Keen meeting well Steve how that meeting was staged god knows it rained all day.Remember going to Wembley in 1974 for the European Final Dag had a bad fall in his fourth ride but won his last ride to qualify on seven points.Remember the meeting mainly because Terry Betts qualified for his only one world final unbelievable really a class act.Going back to Dag he was terrific for the Hawks had a shot at the Golden helmet which was no mean feat also his days at Reading with Michanek, Curtis( RIP) were great days.

Great memories Sid! Quite incredible that Terry only made one World Final but of course the British Final was a difficult hurdle in those days especially when the Aussies and Kiwis were also included!

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13 minutes ago, Grachan said:

I nearly mentioned the maximum in Mike Keen's Testimonial.  I remember Mike Keen going onto the second bend with a hosepipe and watering the track in the midst of a rain storm!

I remember Gordon Kennett hosing down his bike on the centre green after the meeting!

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11 minutes ago, steve roberts said:

Great memories Sid! Quite incredible that Terry only made one World Final but of course the British Final was a difficult hurdle in those days especially when the Aussies and Kiwis were also included!

And Terry was injured just before the final in a second-half race at Saddlebow Road...my memory says he clipped the fence coming out of the 4th bend.

Long time ago so may have that wrong.

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38 minutes ago, Richard Weston said:

And Terry was injured just before the final in a second-half race at Saddlebow Road...my memory says he clipped the fence coming out of the 4th bend.

Long time ago so may have that wrong.

I thought it was at Poole (not one of his favourite tracks) when he broke a collar bone but I maybe wrong?

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, steve roberts said:

I thought it was at Poole (not one of his favourite tracks) when he broke a collar bone but I maybe wrong?

Just checked and it was at Poole but you're right that Terry did once brake his forearm in a second half race at Lynn when chasing Malcolm Simmons.

Edited by steve roberts
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4 hours ago, steve roberts said:

I thought it was at Poole (not one of his favourite tracks) when he broke a collar bone but I maybe wrong?

Obviously not a favourite track for Lynn riders – I'm still getting over seeing the Stars go 20-4 down at Wimborne Road in the Play Off final.

I'd had a lovely day in Poole up to then - down to the Quay, boat trip round the harbour and then boom – dreams shattered in about ten minutes.

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4 hours ago, steve roberts said:

Great memories Sid! Quite incredible that Terry only made one World Final but of course the British Final was a difficult hurdle in those days especially when the Aussies and Kiwis were also included!

Betts, Ashby, Wilson ,and both the  Boocock brothers all underachieved on the world scene but we all know just how good they all were.The era then was so strong and to travel abroad on foreign soil was not an easy task then either to see all them ride as geniune number 1 riders was a real privilege.

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On 7/8/2021 at 8:46 AM, steve roberts said:

Just realised that my two examples are outside the remit! ;)

Still absolutely spot on choices though Steve, albeit different eras. Always a puzzle to me why Knutson went while at the top of game, while still a relatively young man. Maybe Norbold can throw some light on this? Bjorn was I think, only a few months younger than Ivan Mauger and I feel he could well have snatched a couple more world championships from either Mauger, Olsen, Michanek, or the Pole that cheated , before age started to catch up and retirement loomed.

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Tricky one...it's not a sport anyone should dabble in. If anyone's having doubts, then they are safer out.

Penhall is the obvious name. But the older I get, the more I see how he got his timing spot on. He was never going to top winning the title at Wembley and defending it in his home city. He got out healthy, wealthy and with a rare career opportunity in front of him. Anyone with half a brain would have done the same in his boots.

Ron Preston was a quality performer and seemingly had a fair few years left at world level. But I understand he had good reasons too.

Lewis Bridger, I think everyone can agree, could and should have done much more if he hadn't kept retiring!

Also, not the same level, but Jamie Luckhurst was a quality rider at NL level when getting out quite young.

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42 minutes ago, falcace said:

Tricky one...it's not a sport anyone should dabble in. If anyone's having doubts, then they are safer out.

Penhall is the obvious name. But the older I get, the more I see how he got his timing spot on. He was never going to top winning the title at Wembley and defending it in his home city. He got out healthy, wealthy and with a rare career opportunity in front of him. Anyone with half a brain would have done the same in his boots.

Ron Preston was a quality performer and seemingly had a fair few years left at world level. But I understand he had good reasons too.

Lewis Bridger, I think everyone can agree, could and should have done much more if he hadn't kept retiring!

Also, not the same level, but Jamie Luckhurst was a quality rider at NL level when getting out quite young.

For me falcace Penhall was the odvious one he was very lucky in 82 but when he went speedway died in the UK.After 83 Olsen, Mauger, Lee, Sigalos., Carter, Sanders all went for whatever reason a huge void..For me the Danes after that had an easy ride all those quality riders gone saying that got to realise just  how good Hans was and Erik Jan O and Tommy rated all of them after the classy Olsen.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Sidney the robin said:

Betts, Ashby, Wilson ,and both the  Boocock brothers all underachieved on the world scene but we all know just how good they all were.The era then was so strong and to travel abroad on foreign soil was not an easy task then either to see all them ride as geniune number 1 riders was a real privilege.

Eric Boocock could fit the bill for someone who retired too early ? 

Further to Falcace's point, you could  argue no one who walks away fit and healthy from Speedway has retired too soon.

Edited by salty
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