PREVIEW: Gluchowski looking for Laurels double

By Gordon Day

Poole Comets cycle speedway team captain, and Polish international racer, Greg Gluchowski, will be looking to make it a winning ‘ double’ in the Ade Gale Laurels individual championship meeting at the Harbourside Raceway this coming Sunday.

But it will not be an easy task for the defending champion who will have his work cut out if he is to win this prestigious individual  crown for a second successive season, a championship which has attracted the very best riders from across the cycle speedway globe.

“It would be the highlight of my season to win for a second time “ said Gluchowski. “I was not fully aware of the outstanding commitment Ade Gale made during his years with the club before I left my home in Poland to live in Poole, but I now realise that it would be a great honour to again be the victor on the day.”

Among the pre meeting favourites in the race for the title is double British Champion Andy Angell. The Hull based racer has shown his liking for the Harbourside circuit in previous visits and will be a hard man to  beat whatever the conditions.

Wolverhampton’s Lee Aris is a four times British Champion who is certain to be among the pacesetters, as will Southampton’s Gavin Wheeler.  A former Poole teamster, Wheeler has a vast amount of experience of racing at the Harbourside track which could prove to be a huge bonus for the championship honours.

All eyes will also be on South Australian ‘ wonder from down under’ Bobby McMillan who is making a rare appearance at the South Coast track. A member of the Australian international squad, McMillan is an experienced racer who could upset the form book and spring a few surprises throughout the afternoon’s racing.

This will be the tenth running of the Laurels championship event, raced in memory of former Poole captain, and English international star, Ade Gale, who died in 2004 after losing his brave fight against leukaemia.

Raced over a twenty race format, the Laurels is considered to be one of the top individual championships on the British cycle speedway calendar which always produces some hard fought and competitive racing.

“This is a championship that everyone wants to win” said Poole club secretary Pete Barnes. “Every rider will be going all out to add this title to his racing cv. The event has always attracted the very best competitors in the sport, which is a great mark of respect to the late Ade Gale, who was a fine rider and sportsman. We were fortunate to have Greg Gluchowski win the title in 2013, and we will be hoping for another ‘home’ winner this year to keep the title in Poole.  One thing is for sure and that is whoever is crowned champion after the final race on Sunday will have really earned the winners laurels.”

The prestigious meeting always attracts a large Bank Holiday crowd and this year’s event looks to be no exception with the tapes going up on the first race at 12 noon with the Girls in action followed by Junior and Youth age categories before the Senior stars take to the track around 3pm.