Double world champ Greg Hancock was relieved to end his wait for a 2014 FIM Speedway Grand Prix win after completing a glorious hat-trick of Cardiff victories in the Mitas British SGP.
The Californian held firm under immense pressure from home hero Tai Woffinden and Aussie star Darcy Ward to seal a popular win in front of a raucous crowd at the Millennium Stadium and equal three-time world champion Jason Crump’s record haul of three gold medals in the Welsh capital.
Hancock, who also triumphed in 2004 and 2011, lost his World Championship lead to defending champ Woffinden, who is three points clear at the top on 90 going into the series’ month-long break for the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup.
But the 43-year-old was elated to get his hands on a gold medal in what was his sixth final appearance in seven rounds.
“It’s huge. I’ve wanted to win one so badly. When you get to the final, all you want to do is win. I haven’t been taking the points in the heats – going away with 12 points in Prague for second and then 11 for third in Copenhagen is tough.
“I only had 11 going into the final tonight and I was thinking ‘man, I want more points," said Hancock. “The win gave me three extra and it feels so much better. I can’t say enough about how unbelievable it is to win in Cardiff in front of these fans. It’s my all-time favorite place.”
Hancock was delighted to join Crump on three Millennium Stadium successes. He said: “That’s cool. I never set out to break records, but it’s fun to have them and sit on them for a while.