CLUB NEWS: Monarchs react to changes ahead

Last weekend the Midland AGM met to discuss the new changes for 2017 and to plan the regional racing programme, with representatives from the Birmingham club in attendance.

The sports governing body British Cycling and the Cycle Speedway Commission have made changes to protect its future and structure of the sport.

Gone is the Elite League which is to be replaced with county team championships in the guise of the “Supertrax: Battle of Britain”, as well as an individual “Supertrax: Elite GP” championship for all the top standard riders in the sport. Monarchs riders, Chris Timms, Ricki Johnson, Scott Millward and Nathan Groves are likely to be involved at this level.

There are changes at regional level with the play offs introduced to qualify for the KO Cup Playoffs national final. There is also a grading system in place for the top level riders, no Monarchs riders are affected. Clubs can only have 2 graded riders racing on the day.

Birmingham will be looking to regain the division one title after a disappointing third place finish in 2016. Birmingham are also considering joining a “cross over challenge league” which will include at least 3 other teams from the South along with Wednesfield.

Second division racing remains the same, despite a lack of intermediate riders to fill those team spots. However a new ‘bonus’ league point has been introduced for teams who fill all three teams with completely different line ups.

Division 3 league racing is back by popular demand after the past two seasons of being an optional junior league.  Every club felt that more should be done for the rapidly growing amount of youngsters taking up the sport in the past 12 months. At Birmingham alone the club has doubled it’s amount of youngsters due to an active recruitment policy.

Monarchs number one, Chris Timms, has joined the Midland Committee as a rider representative and was warmly welcomed by all in the room. He will canvas the views of all riders.

The Midlands will also get two new teams to the league, with Stoke and Brandon being accepted as part of the league, although Brandon is expected to be a Division 3 outfit only while Stoke are yet to declare which leagues they will join at this stage.

With the season now officially over plans are afoot to improve the track and race surface, with meetings planned to ensure this and more are likely to happen get during the close season.

The club are continuing with training sessions on Sundays 1-3pm. Newcomers are welcome to come and try the sport.

The presentation night will be on Friday 18th November from 7.30pm. Tickets will be £5 per person or a family ticket for £12. Pay on the night.

Photo by Andy Whitehouse.