Tatum robbed of title

Britain’s Kelvin Tatum was cruelly robbed of the 2004 Long Track speedway World Championship by mechanical failure in the final lap of the final race of the series in New Plymouth, New Zealand on Saturday (November 6)

Tatum had a 10-point advantage over German Gerd Riss at the start of the day but it was Riss who collected his fifth world long track crown.

If Riss won the A final, Tatum only had to finish in the top four to wrap up the world championship. He looked on course when he overtook fast-starting Riss on the second lap and began to pull away.

But Riss fought back and the two riders swapped positions again and again until, with Tatum in the lead, his bike suddenly slowed. Tatum could only nurse the dying bike off the track, his world title hopes in tatters.

“Before that last race I was thinking I’m second in the championship, But the race is never over until the finish line comes. I think tonight we make a party,” Riss said.

Final world championship points: 1. Gerd Riss (Germany) 103; 2. Kelvin Tatum (England) 101; 3. Bernd Diener (Germany) 71; 4. Enrico Janoschka (Germany) 65; 5. Theo Pijper (The Netherlands) 63; 6. Andrew Appleton (England) 59; 7. Herbert Rudolph (Germany) 48; 8. Zdenek Schneiderwind (Czech Republic) 44.5; 9. Matthias Kroeger (Germany) 42; 10. Stephan Katt (Germany) 42; 11. Maik Groen (The Netherlands) 39; 12. Robert Barth (Germany) 36; 13. Massimo Mora (Italy) 31.5; 14. Matt Read (England) 28.5; 15. Stephane Tressarieu (France) 27.

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff