RIP Ivan Mauger.

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Kiwi speedway legend Ivan Maugher has passed away, aged 78. https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/motorsport/103134576/new-zealand-speedway-ace-ivan-mauger-dies http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=10838669 Being based in England, we didn't get to see him ride much in New Zealand, but he did come back to ride in the off season, which is our season here. One time, near the end of his career, racing at Western Springs, there was a bump out of turn 2, the bikes would hit it and bounce wide, miss it and they were wide anyway - Mauger hit the bump every lap, and his bike never moved an inch. He was so fast he looked slow...the mark of a good rider. Last time I saw him ride was at a Long Track meeting he held at a trotting track in Hamilton, just south of where I am now. The next year we went, coming down from Auckland, and me from Waiheke Island...we get there and it's raining, after much discusion he called the meeting off...no refund. A handfull of us stood around arguing with him for awhile until he refunded our entrance money. I read his latest book (and other earlier ones) The Will To Win a few years ago. He would've seen more checkered flags than most racers - they hold 4 lap heat races all night, then the semis and the final...5 nights a week, then over to Europe to race on the weekends. Gladiators, so many injuries, they would self administer pain killers by injection before the meeting. RIP Legend.
 
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Yeah. I saw this on the news. The man was an absolute legend here in the UK. When I was a scrawny 14 year old, I'd troll along with my mates on a Friday night to Monmore Green to support the Wolverhampton Wolves speedway team. We would all be carrying our home made, yellow and black painted clip-boards, which we would use to dutifully record race times. The highlight of the season was always when Belle Vue came to visit and the great Ivan Mauger would do battle with our team's hero, Ole Olsen. My flirtation with speedway didn't last more than a few months before I had to get struck into my O-levels but it's still a nice memory.
 
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Silk

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I found one of Ole Olsen's bikes under a house...and was offered it for a bargain price. Yeah, nah, I was around 50 at the time, not a good time of life to try out Ole's bike.
 
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