WEEKEND PREVIEW: Veterans British Championship, Wil Burns Memorial and Women’s League
The Veterans of British Cycle Speedway take centre stage this weekend in Norwich as the Over 40s and Over 60s are in action at Norwich, to be crowned British Champion in the respective categories. We also have a bit of Regional racing to look forward to on Sunday.
British Over 40’s & Over 60’s Individual Championships
A respectable 24 riders will contest the Over 40s championship at Harford Park, Norwich tomorrow. The top placing Over 60s rider (from 4) will be crowned Over 60s champion, with second, third and fourth place awarded according to the four rider’s placing against each other.
Four times Veterans champion Steve Harris will be going all out to make it a fifth title, but he has some strong competition from varying angles. Sheffield’s Gavin Parr, second two years ago, has had a strong season for Northumbria and the Stars in the Elite League. He will be pushing all the way to win the white jersey, along with “fresh vet”, Mark Winwood, who has been cleaning up in the Eurovets series this year. Griffiths, Stone, Lawrence and Norman are all names who took the top spots last year below Harris, and they’re all names that are sadly absent from the draw.
With only 16 places, qualifying for the final will be a tough task for many riders, but it should mean spectators in Norwich are in for a decent days racing.
S&SW Youth and Junior League Round 6
The South and South Wales region continue their Youth and Junior League racing, alongside the national event, this time taking place at Swindon. The event starts at 12pm and is open to all junior South and South Wales league riders.
Wil Burns Memorial Meeting & Women’s League Round
Moving on to Sunday we have the Wil Burns memorial meeting at Leicester. Wil was an incredibly popular member of the Cycle Speedway community and the meeting in his honour has proved to be an equally popular event. The Women’s League also features on the same day at Leicester, which sees the women and girls from all four regions going head to head in a team event, followed by individual action.
Hull v Northumbria
Second bottom Northumbria travel to third placed Hull in Humberside in the only Northern League fixture this weekend. The Vikings are probably safe from finishing bottom, but they could do with picking up some points on Sunday. A win would take them level with A&T, which would fully utilise their match in hand over their Manchester counterparts. Hull are third on points difference but have many matches in hand over their closest rivals Bury and a single match over Edinburgh, all three teams are currently on 10 points. A win would see Hull stake a claim for a third placed finish, or even better if they can chase down Sheffield, who are in second.
South East League
Great Blakenham v Kesgrave
Great Blakenham have a match in hand over Kesgrave and are four points adrift from their rivals, a win would certainly put them in touching distance. It’s a match that could go either way. Great Blakenham’s only win of the season came at home and Kesgrave are yet to win away. Any points for Kesgrave will see them jump ahead of Ipswich Eagles into third place. The Eagles will have 3 matches in hand though.
South and South Wales League
Newport v Horspath
Horspath travel to Elite League counterparts Newport in the only South and South Wales fixture this weekend. The Hammers are potentially without the currently holidaying and in-form Mark Boaler, but will no doubt have Zac Payne, who is having a good season for the Oxford side, leading the way. Save the odd rider away on holiday, Newport will no doubt have a strong squad to choose from, as the reigning champions aim to keep the pressure on at the top of the table.
The South and South Wales matches between Hellingly v Exeter and Southampton v Swindon have reportedly been cancelled, although these is yet to be confirmed on the British Cycling website.
Enjoy your racing for those mounting their noble steeds this weekend!