HSBC | UK ELITE GP: Round 2 Preview
It’s round two of the Cycle Speedway HSBC | UK Elite GP in Swindon on Saturday and it promises to be another highly competitive encounter.
Series leader, Ben Mould, heads the entry list in the elite mens class. The 2016 British Champion has been in fine form of late and helped Great Britain to victory in a test match against Poland in Zielona Gora last weekend. Other GB heroes from Poland, Paul Heard, Josh Brooke, Myke Grimes and Dean Hook are also included in the draw.
Reigning European Champion, Lukasz Nowacki, makes his series debut after a collarbone injury sustained while moutain biking ruled him out of round one. With the top three scores from four rounds counting towards final totals, the Pole is still in with a chance of the series title.
Other debutants include Ben Higham, Neil Hollebon and Will Bristowe, with second placed rider in the series, Lewis Osborne, taking his place in a very competitive line up.
The hectic junior schedule and exam period has seen the junior entry down on round one at the time of writing, but big guns Ed Morton, Carl Parfitt, Fraser Garnett and Pierce Bacon, all of whom finished in the top 5 at East Park, are in the mix. Round two will see a debut for Sheffield’s junior Great Britain star, Adam Watson and top girl racer, Macie Schmidt, is back to tackle the boys once again.
If round one is anything to go by, round two should have some fireworks. Mould’s accomplished performance lead him to the top prize money, but he was pushed hard by Osborne, Grimes and Charlie Rumbold, the latter sitting out of round 2. Matt Smith claimed the final chunk of prize money.
But for a bit of bad luck, Heard and Brooke would have been eyeing up a top 5 finish and will be keen to secure a high scoring round in Swindon, knowing they could write off their round one score with three well placed finishes in the last three rounds.
There will be some riders seeded as entries have surpassed 16, meaning there will be a semi final, how many seeded riders depends on how many late entries on the day. The seeded riders are decided by the current GP standings.
Ed Morton took his chance in a three way run off in the elite junior class at East Park. Wednesfield team mates Brandon Whetton and Carl Parfitt clashed on the first lap, allowing Sheffield’s Morton to race away and claim the top prize. Whetton sits out of round two, but there are plenty of riders waiting to step up and challenge at the top.
Round two of the HSBC | UK Elite GP takes place at the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon, with the elite junior class beginning proceedings at 12noon.