PREVIEW: ICSF European Championships Day 1

International Cycle Speedway makes a welcome return to the UK this weekend with the 14th staging of the European Championships. For the 1st time the competition will be staged in the North with the action on day 1 taking place at Astley & Tyldesley as well as Sheffield’s Cookson Park with 2 Semi-Finals for the Veterans, one at each track, and 4 Open Quarter-Finals with 2 at each track.

The 1st Veterans Semi-Final at Astley sees Leicester’s Craig Marchant begin the defence of the title he won at Bargly in Poland in 2018. His Leicester colleague Mark Whitehead, who was runner-up to Marchant in 2018, is also entered as is Mark’s brother Nicky. 2014 European Veterans Champion Steve Harris (Astley & Tyldesley), who was 5th in this event in2018, is also entered as well as his A&T colleague Lee Phillips. Defending Eurovets Over 60’s champion Chris Ward is also entered, as well as Jason Ashford (Great Blakenham), Lee Galley (Newport) and Terry Norman (Stockport). 7 Polish riders are also entered. Gniezno will be represented by Pawel Kozlowski and Radoslaw Sieradzki. Leszno have 3 representatives in Marek Juskowiak, Lukasz Rajewski and Daniel Kubiak whilst Czestochowa and Wroclaw will be represented by Marcin Szymanski and Dariusz Pilas respectively. These riders will be looking to finish in the top 8 positions which will qualify them for the final on Sunday

Pilas, Kozlowski, Rajewski and Harris are also entered in the Open event and they line up in the first of the Open Quarter-Finals where they are joined by Patryk Bielaczek (Swietochlowice), Adam Watson (Coventry), Nathan Everett (Hull), Will Jeffery (Horspath), Owen Wells (Ipswich), Jakub Kus (Zoledowo), Reece Pollitt (Astley & Tyldesley), Wil Bristowe (Poole), Chris Jewkes (Wednesfield), current Junior World Number 2 Lewis Brinkhoff (Ipswich), Ben Clarke (Ipswich) and Lewis Alsop (Fife).

Open Quarter-Final 2 sees the defending European Open Champion Marcin Szymanski begin the defence of the title he won in 2018. Like Szymanski, Kubiak & Galley are also riding in the Open event as well as the Veterans event. These 3 are joined by Kristian Ramsden (Bury), Marek Juskowiak (Leszno), Radoslaw Morawiak (Zoledowo), Steven Beesley (Horspath), England Junior team manager Zac Payne (Horspath), Lewis Foxley (Hull), Marcin Jakubiak (Czestochowa), Piotr Kupczyk (Leszno), Dawid Bas (Wroclaw), Mateusz Slezak (Leszno), Adam Peck (Great Blakenham), Matt Parr (Kesgrave) and former Junior World number 2 Damian Pelaczyk (Leicester)

The top 8 scorers from the Open Quarter-Finals will qualify for the Semi-Finals on Saturday

The action at Sheffield’s Cookson Park begins with the 2nd of the Veterans Semi-Finals where 6 Polish riders and 9 British riders will compete for the 8 spaces in the Final where they will join the top 8 scorers from the other semi at Astley & Tyldesley. The defending World Over 50’s Champion Paddy Wenn (Norwich), who finished 7th in the 2018 European Veterans Final, is entered as is the current British Over 40’s Champion Mark Winwood (Birmingham). These 2 are joined by Paul Timms (Birmingham), Paul Graham (Astley & Tyldesley), Will Banyard (Sheffield), Steven Hammond (Kesgrave), Alan Nation (Poole), Gavin Wheeler (Horspath) and Ireland co-manager Steve Copping (Norwich), who will be racing at Cookson Park for the 1st time. The Poles will be represented by the reigning EuroVets Over 35 & Over 40’s Champion and 2016 European Open Champion Lukas Nowacki (Horspath), Arkadiusz Hajost (Wroclaw), Jacek Wlekilk (Leszno), Tomasz Wlodarczyk (Czestochowa), Lukasz Kaczmarek (Zielona Gora & Leicester) and Tomasz Szwajorek (Czestochowa)

Wlodarczyk is also riding in the Open event as well as the Veterans event and he is in Open Quarter-Final 3 at Sheffield which will also see the reigning World Champion Ben Mould (Horspath) take part as well as his Horspath colleague Mark Boaler, the 2 time and current British Champion. The current European Junior Champion Jakub Kosciecha (Torun) is also in this Quarter-Final. These 4 are joined by Fryderyka Wojciechowska (Torun), Luke Dunningham (Ipswich), Kyle Holland (Sheffield), Jakub Ignys (Leszno), Witold Strzelec (Leszno), Arkadiusz Szymanski (Torun), David Hamilton (Astley & Tyldesley), Mateusz Ludwiczak (Leszno), Ashley Hill (Ipswich), Kaysar Mohammadi (Bury), Igor Orlowski (Swietochlowice) and Pawel Idziorek (Astley & Tyldesley)

Nowacki, Wleklik and Szwajorek are also competing in the Open event and the Veterans event and they line up in the last of the Open Quarter-Finals along with Sandra Tamborska (Poole), who is also riding in the Women’s event. These 4 are joined by Borys Wojciechowski (Torun), James Porter (Ipswich), Jake Steel (Birmingham), Paul Heard (Birmingham), Chris Timms (Birmingham), Mateusz Pacek (Leszno), Damian Natonski (Wroclaw), Bartosz Fryckowski (Torun), Michael baldock (Bury), Matt Mildon (Poole), Mikolaj Menz (Gniezno) and Ed Morton (Sheffield).

As with the Astley & Tyldesley Quarter-Finals the top 8 scorers will qualify for the Semi-Finals on Saturday

The 2 Veterans Semi-Finals kick off the action at 11am at both tracks with the Open Quarter-Finals following at 12.30pm and 2pm

Results will appear on 33/18 News and will also be available at this link: