THE FUTURE looks bright for Coventry Bees reserve Josh Bates after he was crowned British Under-21 Champion for the second time in his career last Thursday.
The young rider triumphed on his home Premier League track of Sheffield, to add to his success in the same competition at Wolverhampton in 2014.
Bates had to do things the hard way though after coming through the semi-final after a fall in his final programmed ride left him on 11 points as pre-meeting favourites Robert Lambert and Adam Ellis advanced directly to the final.
However, he won the semi and was joined in the final by 15-year-old sensation Jack Parkinson-Blackburn, as Max Clegg and Nathan Greaves missed out.
And then Bates, from the inside starting position, made the best of the start in the Final as Ellis and Lambert duelled from the outside, and he then pulled clear to win the title.
“I felt like crying when I won the final because this means so much to me,” said Bates.
“When I won it in 2014, nobody expected anything from me and that was the start of something special for me.
“This time around, I was on my home track and I always wanted to make the most of that fact.
“I’d got a lot of people who’d come to watch me race and a lot of supporters were behind me too.
“It’s another huge moment in my career and it’s great to win it for a second time.”
Coventry will hold a special collection at this Friday’s home Elite League clash against Poole for injured Polish youngster Kacper Woryna.
The 19-year-old faces up to two months out of action after his horrific crash at King’s Lynn last week which left him with severe hand lacerations.
He is now out of hospital after a series of operations over the weekend and will be returning to Poland later in the week.
But a series text messages between Woryna and the Bees promotion team has underlined why he has already become such a popular figure at the club.
In one text he describes his love for the club and how he wants to spend the rest of his career with the Bees.
Coventry promoter Mick Horton said: “It’s been a delight to work with Kacper so far, and it’s so nice to see riders who have this sort of attitude and who really love the club they ride for.
“We want to do something to help Kacper whilst he is unable to race, and I would urge all Coventry fans to come along and support the collection for him on Friday.”