MATCH REPORT: Marchant, Venson and Kirkup Eurovets champions
The 9 round season long Eurovets series accumulated in Birmingham on Saturday with winners on the day and overall both crowned.
22 riders were divided into their age categories with the top 4 from both moving forward to the A finals at the end of the day.
In the 40s, home hopes lay with Mark Winwood, who was lying in 3rd place overall and 2 points off 2nd spot.
Long time series leader, Craig Marchant, had the title wrapped up, so the battle was between Winwood and Martyn Hollebon from Hellingly, with both riders knowing their races together would ultimately decide who finished on the 2nd step.
The 2 protagonists met in heat 8 with the win going to Hollebon. He finished joint top scorer on 19 points overall, along with Leicester’s Kev Burns.
Winwood took 3 wins on his way to 18 points alongside Marchant and this gave him a grid 4 in the final. From the tapes, Hollebon on grid 2 made the switch to defend the outside run of Winwood and defended for 4 hard laps of pressure.
Burns was the winner on the day, but 40s title glory went to Marchant with Winwood 3rd overall. Winwood surrendering the title he won in 2014 and 2015.
In the 50s, home interest was with current champion Steve Hodgkinson and 2013-2014 champion Paul Timms. Neither rider rode enough meetings to push for a top 3 spot in 2016, however both had high hopes of reaching the final on their home track.
Both riders met as early as heat 3 and Timms made a superb gate from 2 over Hodgkinson and defended pressure throughout from champion elect Venson, Hodgkinson 3rd.
Timms dropped a single point to Leicester’s Dave Frith and matched his tally of 19 points overall. Frith dropped his only point to Hodgkinson in heat 6. All 3 made the final along with Venson.
Frith off gate one lead, but the race was close throughout as there was little between all 4 as they all pressured each other for positions. Frith held on for the win whilst Timms came in 3rd with his team mate 4th.
Venson crowned champion with Frith runner up, Terry Kirkup 3rd.
In the 60s it was Coventry supremo Joe McLaughlin who won on the day, however Kirkup won 8 of the 9 rounds to sail to the title. Fred Rothwell 2nd and Scottish legend Chic Mackie in 3rd.
The series raises money for the male cancer ‘orchid’ charity and this year have raised nearly £1000, thanks to the effort of all involved.
Birmingham training continues through October on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5.45PM for anyone to join in with free use of bikes and equipment!