BELLE VUE captain Brady Kurtz admitted his side “dug in” to keep their Premiership KO Cup hopes alive. 

The ATPI Aces beat Sheffield 49-41 at the National Speedway Stadium on Monday in the first leg. 

They now have to defend that lead against last year’s beaten finalists in Yorkshire on Thursday night. 

Kurtz said: “This was a very important result for us. We knew Sheffield weren’t going to make it easy and there were a couple of moments where we almost tripped up.

“But it’s credit to the boys that not only did we get a pretty good result, but everybody dug in and got on with the meeting, given how iffy the weather was looking.

“It wasn’t perhaps my finest hour. We made quite a few changes to the bike and eventually found something that worked, but that’s one of the great things about this team.

“We’ve got the guys there who can step up and fill in the gaps when others are struggling, and with that in mind we can feel pretty good about going to Sheffield on Thursday.”

A heat two 5-1 from Aces reserves Connor Mountain and Connor Bailey gave them an early lead which was extended by another home maximum heat win by Jaimon Lidsey and Ben Cook.

Tai Woffinden was the only visiting heat winner in the opening six heats and their only 5-1 of the afternoon courtesy of Chris Holder and Josh Pickering closed the gap to just two points after seven heats.

The triple World Champion executed a beautiful swoop around home skipper Brady Kurtz on the entrance to lap two whilst Jason Edwards held on for third but Norick Blodorn and Bailey hit back to restore the six-point advantage.

Woffinden eased to a third victory in heat nine and Jack Holder took his first race win of the afternoon in 11 but a 4-2 for the prolific Lidsey, 10, and Bailey put Belle Vue back in the driving seat.

Kurtz produced a fine ride to get past Jack Holder as well as becoming the first rider to defeat Woffinden in Heat 13 and the Aces added another couple of points to their lead with a 4-2 from Mountain and Cook in the penultimate heat.

A fourth classy victory from Woffinden in the last heat ensured that the tie is nicely poised ahead of Thursday’s second leg at Owlerton (7.30).


Aces: Jaimon Lidsey 10, Norick Blodorn 9, Ben Cook 7+2, Connor Bailey 6+3, Dan Bewley 6+1, Connor Mountain 6, Brady Kurtz 5.

Tigers: Tai Woffinden 13+1, Chris Holder 8+1, Josh Pickering 7+2, Jack Holder 6+1, Kyle Howarth 5, Jason Edwards 2, Dan Gilkes 0.


Words by George Dodds. 

Images by Taylor Lanning.