PREVIEW: 2014 Indoor Cycle Speedway Championships
All roads will lead to Coventry this weekend as the city stages its first major national sports final of the year. Hundreds of riders, officials and fans will head to the Sports Connexion, Ryton, for the British Indoor Cycle Speedway finals.
It’s the second successive year the finals have been held at the Sports Connexion venue. Competition, for both team and individual categories, will be competed for in two days of hectic action in all age classifications, including woman and veteran finals.
The action kicks off on Saturday (3rd January) morning at 8.30am with qualifying for the British Open. The British under 16s competition follows, where local riders Kyle Roberts, of Coventry CSC, and Lee Kemp, who races for East Park Wolves (Wolverhampton), are amongst the favourites.
Amongst the highlights of the finals weekend will be the British Senior final with the dashing Mark Boaler of Horspath (Oxford) looking to repeat his success of last year and land a `double` title success. He will face stiff competition from Wednesfield Aces hotshot Ricki Johnson and former champion Ben Scanage of Manchester outfit Bury.
Sunday’s timetable will commence at 8.30am with the semi-finals of the British Junior Team event. The hectic schedule will conclude on Sunday evening with the blue ribband British Senior Team final (7.30pm) where the racing will be at its most keenest. One race of the corresponding final last year had to be re-run nine times – after eight crashes.
Local club Coventry have teamed-up with Wednesfield Aces to promote the finals weekend. The championships have attracted a record entry list, and highest gross competition fees, in its history. For the first time in 13 years, the event is being staged outside the umbrella of British Cycling.
A small army of unpaid volunteers will transform the cavernous Sports Connexion venue on Friday evening (2nd January) into a cycling venue overnight, with the installation of an airfence, starting gates, safety barriers, PA system and seating.
The sizable influx of Cycle Speedway visitors to Coventry this weekend has created a welcome early New Year mini-boom for the cities hotel and tourist industry. One hotel alone has sold 47 hotel rooms for the event.
The British Indoor finals, at the Sports Connexion, are free to all spectators on both days. Indoor Cycle Speedway is an incredible sporting spectacle, with riders taking the corners almost touching the floor with their leg arm and the racing is full contact – with no brakes!
Steve Mullinder, of Wolverhampton, one of the promotors, said: “The early New Year period is often a chance to get out and about to watch live sport. We invite anyone to come along to the finals for a few hours this weekend and sample the terrific atmosphere and thrilling racing”.
Further details of the British Indoor finals, including timetable, draws and background news, can be found at leading Cycle Speedway website by going to: www.3318news.com
For more information on Coventry Cycle Speedway, including how to get involved, you can visit www.coventrycsc.com or follow the club on Twitter using @CoventryCSC.