PREVIEW: Internationals flock to the Laurels

Poole Cycle Speedway Club aims to replicate the exciting flavour of the 2015 World Team final at Harbourside on Sunday by lining up the cream of Welsh, Australian, Polish and English cycle speedway for the annual Ade Gale “Laurels”.

Amongst the star studded line-up will be the Aussie pair of Cody Chadwick who has made such a big impact in the Elite league with Ipswich this season and Ty Geertson who landed here yesterday for his first taste of British racing.

2015 Laurels champion Greg Gluchowski has a limited racing schedule this season due to work commitments but has made time for the Laurels and will head the Polish challenge for more honours along with fellow compatriot and club mate Maciej Ganczarek who is rapidly recovering the form which earned him the European title 8 years ago.

Wales were close to causing an upset in the 2015 Worlds and their top duo of Ben Mould and Mark Carmichael will be strong contenders for a rostrum place based on regular performances at the Baiter circuit.

Last minute injury problems for World number two Chris Timms might limit his role to onlooker, which will be a great disappointment for Chris and the local crowd who enjoyed his two classic encounters with Matiej Ganczarek a fortnight ago when honours finished even.

Fortunately, fellow international Myke Grimes has stepped in and provides an able replacement and joins his England team-mate and captain Paul Heard who currently commutes between Wednesfield and Swietochlowice for his Elite racing.

While it would be no surprise to see this gilt edged international octet battling for the coveted rostrum places, the line-up is completed with eight talented Brits, any one of whom is capable of springing a surprise with Ricki Johnson and Steve Harris currently knocking up good scores and Josh Brooke and Dan Chambers an important part of the Ipswich resurgence.

South Coast stars Aaron Herbert and Neil Hollebon get the chance to shine and Poole Elite squad members Dean Hook and Ben Donohue complete the 2016 Laurels which is this year sponsored by Precision Engraving of Weymouth.

The good news for those travelling to Poole on Sunday is that the A338 Ringwood-Bournemouth Spur Road has just re-opened after 9 month closure although the good weather forecast could see the usual Whitsun rush to the coast!

The Laurels is scheduled for a 3pm start but the day’s events get under way at 1pm, with the Women’s Laurels and with Vicky Brown away on holiday, it’s a chance for the likes of Lizzie Ridgely, Lauren Jacobs and Lauren Hookway to step up to the top of the rostrum.