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Brian White  Friday, August 02, 2002  08:37 GMT

Rye House Raiders take a well-earned fortnight break from action now after a busy July which saw home wins against Newport, Peterborough and Buxton and a defeat at Sheffield.

Added to that, the Raiders were also challenging on the individual front and both skipper Simon Wolstenholme and rising star Edward Kennett have progressed to the final of the Conference League Riders’ Championship which will be held at Hoddesdon on Saturday, August 31.

Wolstenholme will be looking to go two places better than the bronze medal he won in last year’s event,  also held at Hoddesdon, which was taken by his then team­mate David Mason.

Meanwhile, Kennett will be making his first appearance in the competition to cap off a debut season which has so far yielded an average of nearly eight points a meeting and in which he has ridden in more heats (88) than any other Raider.

Kennett’s closest competition is his fellow ever-present this term, James Cockle, who was praised by Raiders promoter Len Silver on Monday following a highly-mature performance against Buxton.

Silver said: “When James first started riding at Rye House, he was the most-promising 15-year-old we had on our books but he had a tendency to be a bit wild on the track and make most safety fences tremble.

“But since then, we have had the likes of Edward (Kennett) and Steve Boxall join our set-up and that has taken some of the attention away from James and allowed him to develop out of the spotlight.

“There is a tremendous rivalry between all three of those riders and they are all dragging each other up to higher levels of achievement.

“And on Monday, James showed he is maturing as a rider. He was fast out of the starts. He rode calculated races. He moved across the track to cover his position when necessary, and his team-riding, which would in the past have had his partner a touch nervous shall we say, was magnificent.”



Edward Kennett in action at Wimbledon


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