NEWS: Birmingham begin Elite League preparations

Birmingham Monarchs Cycle Speedway Club are set to return to the Elite League in 2016 club secretary Natalie Timms confirmed late last week.

The Elite League series is ran under the British Cycling umbrella, meaning the Monarchs, along with fellow confirmed newcomers Coventry, are expected to adhere to strict criteria for their inclusion in the series. Birmingham’s Steve Hodgkinson commented, “Facilities are key so we expect to make some changes to our surroundings and are hoping to add lighting and changing rooms before the deadline of March 2016.”

Club members and volunteers turned out in force last Sunday for track and surroundings work led by Chris Timms. More importantly, is getting back the Go Ride status and Clubmark, which are deemed essential to the club being allowed to join the Elite League.

Club chairman Phil Widdas has stated there is a lot of work for the club ahead. “We need to get British Cycling back on board to ensure we get Go Ride as soon as possible and then we can work towards getting Clubmark.

“We will have access to two coaches at the club shortly, so I will be speaking to British Cycling soon to get the wheels in motion.”

The club are due to have a meeting in the near future to discuss what needs to be done going forward and a lot of that discussion will be about bringing in riders of Elite League quality.

Birmingham volunteers working at Perry Bar.

The club will be lead by World number two, Chris Timms, plus quality riders like Mark Winwood, Nathan Groves, Scott Millwall (work permitting), and hopefully Ricki Johnson will be staying after joining from Wednesfield in 2015.

It is expected 15 year old hotshot Ewan Hancox will also be included in the squad as he continues his rapid climb to the top. Timms added, “There are riders that will want to come so we need to start signing riders up.”

“No doubt news of signings will be filtering through in the coming weeks and months as we plan our re-build.”

The club will still continue to race in the Midland league also in 2016.

Winter training is likely to continue as well according to junior coach Steve Hodgkinson. “We have kids that still want to race, and seniors too. We will run every other Tuesday, so long as demand is there. We will run sessions under floodlights. As long as kids wants to train we will be there!”

The next scheduled session will be Tuesday 17th November from 6pm.

Cover photo by Matt Davis