Class of 2021 relishing the challenge at Mildenhall Fen Tigers

Jason Edwards Mildenhall Fen Tigers

Jason Edwards will be Mildenhall Fen Tigers' number one rider for the National Development League season. - Credit: Daniel Mason/Archant

For the class of 2021, their aims for Mildenhall Fen Tigers this season are quite simple as they hope to conquer some personal challenges along the way, too. 

In a team that boasts an average age of just 23-years-old, Jason Edwards has been awarded the number one rider spot for the National Development League campaign, which starts at Leicester on June 16. 

Despite being only 18, Jason, who signed for Mildenhall in 2019, is relishing the chance to shine once again in front of what he hopes will be a raucous West Row crowd this year. 

“Number one is only a number on a jacket and if we’re going faster than everyone else, we should be doing alright,” he said. 

“I want to try and get my average as high as possible. I can’t wait to be racing my bike so anything else is a bonus, but we just want to win some races.” 

Class of 2021 Mildenhall Fen Tigers Danny Ayres banner

The class of 2021 beside a banner showing the number 15, which the late Danny Ayres wore when he rode for Mildenhall Fen Tigers. Not pictured is Elliot Kelly. - Credit: Daniel Mason/Archant

Some of Jason’s successes include being the youngest rider ever to qualify for the British under-21 final and racing in the Championship for Lakeside Hammers aged 16. 

But for now, his focus is on the team and helping Mildenhall defy the odds as he lays his path towards world championship level. 

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“A couple of years ago, I came into the National League and I was the little reserve, and now it’s flipped as I'm on the other end of the spectrum and feel like one of the older ones!” he said. 

“If we’re winning races, we’re going forward and as long as we’re learning all the time and having fun, that’s key.” 

Jordan Jenkins Mildenhall Fen Tigers 2021

Jordan Jenkins, captain of Mildenhall Fen Tigers, is hoping to combat previous injury problems in a bid to achieve success this season. - Credit: Daniel Mason/Archant

Some of Mildenhall’s line-up are featuring in the British under-21 semi-final today, including captain Jordan Jenkins who is looking to have an injury-free year with Fen Tigers and Redcar after breaking his back two years ago. 

“I think to be happy while you’re racing is a massive thing in speedway and for me, when I’m happier, I race my best,” Jordan said. 

“I was struggling mentally with how close that certain injuries could’ve gone either way. 

“I don’t want to feel like I could have done this and that better, and I want put in absolutely everything into the year and try to succeed.” 

Sam Bebee Mildenhall Fen Tigers 2021

Sam Bebee is another rider more determined than ever to develop after suffering injury. - Credit: Daniel Mason/Archant

Sam Bebee is another to be hit by injury, but this time, he is more determined than ever to complete his second full season in five years. 

He said: “I’m feeling confident, really fit and feel I’m the best prepared I’ve ever been. 

“Whenever injuries have held me back, they’ve helped me because every time I get injured, it makes me more determined to do even better next time.” 

Sam Hagon Mildenhall Fen Tigers 2021

Sam Hagon is part of the Mildenhall Fen Tigers team to race in the National Development League in 2021. - Credit: Daniel Mason/Archant

Arran Butcher Mildenhall Fen Tigers 2021

Arran Butcher will be looking to impress for Mildenhall Fen Tigers in the National Development League this season. - Credit: Daniel Mason/Archant

Bebee, Sam Hagon and Elliot Kelly are also competing among a 16-strong field for a spot in the British under-21 final.