WEEKEND PREVIEW: Big test for the Eagles and the Vets are sent to Coventry
It’s another action packed weekend of Cycle Speedway racing coming up. The Elite League is straight back into action, Coventry host the Veterans Final, Horspath host 3 women’s events and there is some division 2 and 3 regional league meetings around the country.
Lee Lawrence of Edinburgh has been singled out as the favourite to land the Veterans title at Hearsall Common tomorrow. The Falcon came second to now retired Denis Hubble last year and will be eyeing up the top spot on the podium this time round. Paul Timms has been in fine form in the Eurovets series, so he will be putting in a strong challenge, along with Dave Murphy and home favourite, track specialist, Joe McLaughlin. The Vets final starts at 2pm and is followed at 4pm by a Midlands v North Veterans Challenge match.
The women are also in action tomorrow in Oxfordshire, where Horspath host 3 events. Starting at 1pm is the GG Express Euro GP. Following it is the Inter Regional Fours and finally finishing up with the Non-Elite Rider Individuals to end a busy day of racing.
Turning our heads to Sunday, the Elite League is back, in the busiest month of racing for the series. The pick of the fixtures has to be Wednesfield v Ipswich. The Aces were many people’s favourites for the title at the start of the year, following some strong signings in the transfer window. However, a slip up at Horspath sees them sitting in third place. It’s not all over for them though, as league leaders Ipswich have to do battle with the West Midlands side twice including tomorrow and Horspath are still to visit Ashmore Park. A clean run of wins could see Wednesfield take the title still – they really need a win tomorrow to stay in the title race though.
Ipswich have had a fine run of results, however all have come against the 3 teams at the bottom of the table. Sunday presents a stern test of their resolve and the stakes are high. A win for the Eagles will see them sit proudly unbeaten, seeing off 4 of the 5 teams in the league in the process. A loss opens the door to the Aces and throws the title race wide open. Wednesfield will be thankful of their strong squad as they’re more than likely to be without Paul Heard who has broken his 5th metacarpal in his left hand, of which we wish him a speedy recovery. Ipswich always travel well, so expect a fuels strength team to visit Ashmore Park, as well as potential fireworks. Follow the action live on Wednesfield’s and Ipswich’s Twitter feeds.
Joint league leaders (only second on points difference) Horspath travel to Newport. Mark Carmichael is no stranger to the Oxford side having spent years racing for Horspath. The Port will no doubt put a strong line up together, with their West Midlands contingent joining them. With no DMP racing in Poland, new signing Adam Bożejewicz, who top scored for the Welsh side at Wednesfield, could also make an appearance.
The bad news for Newport is that Horspath are likely to fly in their Polish World Cup winning riders Grabowski, Kolata and Parandinski. Added together with Match Race Trophy holder Chris Timms, who missed the Sheffield match the last time the Poles flew in, it gives Mark Boaler’s side a formidable line up that any team in the world would struggle to beat, it really is literally a World class side. Newport are not ones to throw in the towel though, be sure that they will fight for every single point and make Horspath work to keep their unbeaten run going.
The final Elite League fixture is between to two teams at the bottom. Neither Sheffield or Poole have points on the board yet, nor will either side want to be the team still on “nil point” at the end of the day. Sheffield are looking like they have finally got all their key riders in one place at the same time, something that has cost them dearly so far this season. Andy Angell and Myke Grimes return to the line up having missed the Ipswich clash last time out.
The Stars will need to be at their best to overcome the Dorset side. Poole, although perhaps lacking the strength and depth they had last year, can still amass a strong side. Greg Głuchowski, Gavin Wheeler, Steve Harris and rumours of Arek Szymański being in town already gives them a strong top end, who knows, with the lack of DMP racing, could we see the World Champion Marcin Szymański make an appearance? Not to mention past British Finalists Leyton Glover, Arron Morgan and reigning Under 16 Champion Aaron Smith bolstering their side, Poole will be confident they can take their first win of the season. Either way it’s sure to be a great match.
Other Regional fixtures to complete the weekend sees Wednesfield Aces take their Midland League Division 3 team to Bretford on Saturday, with the return fixture on Sunday (after the Elite League one assumes), Leicester are at Coventry in Midland League Division 2 and 3 and Glasgow host Hull in Northern league Division 2.
The Inter-Club South and South Wales Rose Bowl takes place on Sunday in Southampton between Exeter, Hellingly, Southampton and Swindon, which round up the fixtures for this weekend, in what should be a great few days of Cycle Speedway action.