NEWS: New year boost as Stoke return to racing

Cycle Speedway is set for a New Year boost – with the news that Stoke Cycle Speedway club are continuing their revival by staging their first competitive race meeting for three years.

Following the staging of weekly practice and training `Clubnights` throughout last summer at their impressive Etruria Park circuit, Stoke Cycle Speedway manager and driving force Avon Allcock has signaled his go-ahead for a competitive return.

Subject to approval from the British Junior & Youth League national coordinator Ross Mee, it looks increasingly likely the bikes are to race into action once again in Stoke with the staging of a BJYL Midlands round in April or May.

It will mean a tremendous New Year boost for the sport with the revival of racing at one of its former strongholds in the Potteries. It follows other successful big city relaunches of the sport in major UK cities such as Newcastle, Glasgow and Coventry in recent years.

It is thought the BJYL round would also act as the official grand re-opening of the Stoke track. A high powered PR and publicity campaign would be mounted to attract maximum promotion, aimed at attracting a new generation of Stoke riders to the Etruria Park club.

This excellent news follows the withdrawal of the Stoke club from the Midland League three seasons ago which left the Etruria Park venue – which had just been built – without no racing.

However, following discussions with Stoke stalwarts such as Allcock, Rob Machin, Simon Mundon, Andy Franks, Gene Bailey and others in May 2015, Joe McLaughlin called a Public Meeting in Stoke to galvanize support for a return of the sport to the Potteries.

The Public Meeting, also supported by Midland League officials Bob Prince and Norman Venson, immediately led to the reformation of the Stoke club. Within days, following intense media coverage arranged by McLaughlin, the wheels were turning once again at Stoke.

Looking ahead, Allcock said:” I can confirm that Stoke will be pleased to stage a BJYL round as part of the ongoing revival of the club. We shall be affiliating to British Cycling to facilitate the staging of racing again.

“Clubnight sessions were held every Wednesday from June onwards last year and we were pleased to see so many former riders, together with several new local youngsters. The track has been fully reinstated and one of our keenest volunteers, Simon Baltkauls, can be found at the track most days making improvements”.