Simon Stead admitted he was emotional after winning the Premier League Riders’ Championship at home track Sheffield.
Stead completed a remarkable comeback season from a badly broken leg by striking gold in the showpiece meeting. The victory came two months after he raced for Great Britain in the World Cup – and he’s been in fine form for Sheffield.
He said: “To win that meeting in front of family, friends and sponsors was an emotional moment. Last year when I was at my lowest there were times when I wondered whether I would be riding again – and here I am reflecting on a major individual title and riding in the World Cup. I’m just so pleased for Sheffield too because for all the success I’ve enjoyed it’s been hard because of all the injuries.
“At least the PLRC win has given Sheffield fans something to smile about. I was desperate to make it happen on Sunday. I thank Sheffield fans for staying with us. It’s been a hard season for the new management with all the injuries and we had a lot of rain-offs. The PLRC was a hard meeting but I got there in the end and I’m a very proud man.”
The victory came a decade after his last appearance in the event when he was riding for Workington before making the switch to Elite League Belle Vue.
That night the title was decided by a refereeing decision when he crashed alongside Sheffield’s Andre Compton – and Stead was excluded, handing the title to Compton.
Said Stead: “That’s all in the past and Andre and me are good pals these days, riding in the same team. That wasn’t my main motivation for winning on Sunday.
“I can go for a beer with Andre and we just don’t talk about it. We understand each other, I believe.”