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speedway


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Racing on motorcycles on oval dirt tracks, by (male) professional riders in organized leagues, on single-gear motorcycles with no brakes. Speedway grew rapidly in the 1920s and the 1930s, and a World Championship was organized in 1936. Australia, the USA, and the UK provided champion riders. In the mid 1970s, speedway was claimed as the second most popular spectator sport in the UK. It had been established in 1928, when the British Auto-Cycle Union licensed meetings at 34 tracks (generally, adapted from greyhound tracks), though only ten tracks remained in 1932, when two professional leagues merged to form the National League. Speedway could attract large crowds, such as the 93,000 who watched the World Championship Final at Wembley, London, in 1938, when Bluey Wilkinson of Australia beat Jack Milne of the USA. Other European countries, beyond the UK, where speedway has established a presence are Sweden, Denmark, and Poland. From 1912 to 1959, the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (which had joined with Britain's AutoCycle Union when the international body, initially founded in 1904 in Paris, was revived) was based in London, before moving to Geneva, Switzerland. See also motorcycle racing.

Subjects: Sport and Leisure.


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