WEEKEND PREVIEW: British Indoor Championships Day 2
Day 2 of the British Indoor Championships on Sunday 9th January gets underway at 9am with the Junior Individual Championship. At the time of writing 10 riders were entered and these included the top 3 from the corresponding outdoor event, the Ipswich duo of Lewis Brinkhoff and Ben Clarke along with Coventry’s Tom Savage. Brinkhoff is also the current Indoor Junior champion having won in 2019, with Clarke 3rd. Kristian Mitchell (Great Blakenham) & Nathan Goulden (Poole) are also entered, both of whom will be looking to improve on their 7th and 8th placings in the 2019 event. Goulden also rode in the outdoor event at Underwood where he finished 7th. Also entered are Gemma Hill (Ipswich), Kieran Whitehead (Leicester), Kai Gowers (Ipswich), Torsten Jolly (Kesgrave) and Alex Dickson (Exeter)
The Under 14 Individual Championship is the next event, scheduled for 10am, and 8 of the top 11 from the corresponding outdoor event have entered, including the top 4 of JJ Wildman (Exeter), Charlie Parr (Kesgrave), Mason Martin (Hethersett) and Kenzie Bennett (Poole). Also entered are Oliver Saunders (Poole), Ryker Jolly (Kesgrave), Leon Penketh (Southampton), Detlan Baker (Ipswich), Finley Myall (Ipswich), Mitchell Baker (Ipswich), Charlie Buet-Gannon (Birmingham) and Oscar Hammond (Kesgrave). 4 girls have also entered, outdoor champion Natalie Goulden (Poole), Daisy Sherwood (Poole), Lily Parr (Kesgrave) and Charlotte Geach (Exeter). All 4 of these girls will be looking to emulate what Lucy Whitehead (2003) and Rosie Tidball (2019) achieved, namely winning a British title whilst racing in the same competition as the boys.
3 Semi-Finals for the British Open Indoor Individual Championship follow at 11am, midday and 1pm. A top 5 finish will be required to reach the final. A run-off will take place between the 6th placed riders to determine the 16th qualifier for the final along with the 2 reserves.
The semi-final at 11am has a 16 rider line-up and includes Birmingham’s Ricki Johnson, who won the title in 2014 & 2018. Also entered are Wil Bristowe (Poole), Thomas Savage (Coventry), Niall Morton (Sheffield), 2019 Junior runner-up James Porter (Ipswich), Adam Watson (Coventry), Ashley Hill (Ipswich), Jake Steel (Birmingham), Craig Marchant (Leicester), Paul Timms (Birmingham), Leon Mower (Gt Blakenham), Laura Watson (Sheffield), Luke Whitehead (Leicester), Nathan Groves (Birmingham), Aaron Smith (Poole) and Owen Wells (Ipswich).
The other 2 semi-finals have 12 riders in each and the semi-final at midday includes the 2 time and current British Outdoor champion Mark Boaler, who also won the Indoor title in 2008, 2013 & 2015. The 2015 British Outdoor Champion Zac Payne (Horspath) is also entered, as is Lewis Brinkhoff (Ipswich), Zak White (Wolverhampton Wheelers), Luke Harrison (Orwell Velo), Matt Hill (Ipswich), Nathan Everett (Hull), Kristian Mitchell (Gt Blakenham), Tim French (Leicester), Lee Kemp (Wednesfield) and Paddy Wenn (Norwich) if he is fit, having had to withdraw from the Over 40’s Final with injury. Defending Champion Adam Peck (Great Blakenham) is a non-starter, having tested positive for Covid-19. Should Boaler qualify for the final and then subsequently emerge victorious he will emulate the achievements of Shaun Ellis (1999) and Lee Aris (2006) by winning both the Outdoor & Indoor British titles in the same season
The 1pm semi-final will be contested by Jake White (Wolverhampton Wheelers), Lauren Hookway (Exeter), Jake Slight (Edinburgh), Craig Whitehead (Leicester), Rachel Lammin (Horspath), Chris Timms (Birmingham), Nathan Goulden (Poole), Fraser Garnett (Poole), Ben Clarke (Ipswich), the reigning World Champion Ben Mould (Horspath), Mark Carmichael (Horspath) and Connor Tucker (Exeter)
The Women’s Championship will be decided at 2pm and features 3 previous winners, the inaugural winner Rachel Lammin (Horspath), who won the title in 2010 under her maiden name of Edge, Lucy Whitehead (Leicester) who was victorious in 2011 & 2016 and lauren Hookway (Exeter, winner in 2014 & 2018. Also entered are Laura Watson (Sheffield), Rebekah Humphries (Birmingham), Natalie Goulden (Poole), Gemma Hill (Ipswich), Shannon Tucker (Exeter) and Elizabeth Rigley (Leicester). Should Whitehead or Hookway win they will become the first rider to win this event on 3 occasions
The Open Individual Final rounds off the action at 3pm and if Mark Boaler qualifies for the final and subsequently wins it he will emulate what Shaun Ellis (1999) and Lee Aris (2006) have achieved by winning the Outdoor and Indoor titles in the same season