WEEKEND PREVIEW: British Indoor Championships Day 1

After a year’s absence the British Indoor Championships return this weekend (Saturday 8th January & Sunday 9th January) at Sports Connexion, Ryton on Dunsmore, Coventry.

Covid-19 Measures

Under current government regulations, indoor sport with less than 500 attendees can go ahead without requiring the use of a Covid passport. The organisers will continue to monitor the situation and keep riders updated.

Safety measures that will be in place:

  • All attendees should complete a lateral flow test before attending the event.
  • Riders, spectators and officials should not travel to the venue if they return a positive test or have any Covid-19 symptoms.
  • Spectators are not encouraged to keep attendance to a minimum.
  • Riders must wear a mask inside the venue when not competing.
  • Officials, team managers and spectators must wear a mask at all times inside the venue.
  • Social distancing should be maintained at all times. The pits will be arranged to allow this.
  • Sanitisation stations will be available throughout the venue.
  • Riders are encouraged to be self-sufficient. Food and drink must not be shared.

The action gets underway at 9am on Saturday with a pre-qualifying round for the Over 40’s where the 3 time and defending champion from 2019 Craig Marchant (Leicester) is amongst the line up which includes 2 other former winners of this event, Paul Timms (Birmingham) who won in 2010 and Leicester’s Mark Whitehead who was successful in 2013 & 2015. The reigning Over 50’s World Champion Paddy Wenn (Norwich), who was runner-up in the British Outdoor Over 50’s, is also entered as are Jason Ashford (Gt Blakenham) and Gavin Parr (Hull), British Outdoor Over 40’s Champions in 2011 & 2015 respectively. Also entered are the reigning Eurovets Over 60’s champion Chris Ward (Horspath), Luke Morton (Sheffield), Craig Whitehead (Leicester), Toby Millen (Gt Blakenham), Robert Geach (Exeter), Jason Keith (Edinburgh), Nicky Whitehead (Leicester), Lee Ashman (Wednesfield), James Collier (Newport), Andrew Yard (Exeter), Stephan Whitehead (Leicester), David Martin (Hethersett), Lee Galley (Newport), Steve Hammond (Kesgrave), Paul Share (Wednesfield) and Andrew Cumbers. John Evans is also entered but picked up an injury during a training session so his participation is in doubt. Should Craig Marchant qualify for the final and subsequently go on to win he will emulate the achievement of the late Frank Finnigan in winning 4 titles in 4 stagings

3 Open Team ualifying matches follow at 10am, 11am and 12 noon respectively. The first match at 10am sees Sheffield go up against Hethersett, Edinburgh, Great Blakenham (wo won this event in 1996 & 2002) and 8 time winners Horspath. Match 2 at 11am sees 6 time winners Wednesfield go up against Coventry, Kesgrave and twice winners Birmingham whilst the final match at midday will see 4 time winners Leicester, the defending champions Ipswich, 1988 winners Poole and Exeter take part. The lowest scoring team will not progress to the semi-finals.

The Open Team Qualifiers are followed by a pre-qualifying round for the Under 16’s at 1pm which features 8 riders who rode in the corresponding outdoor event at Horspath, namely Kai Gowers (Ipswich), JJ Wildman (Exeter), Mason Martin (Hethersett), Charlie Parr (Kesgrave), Josh Nottle (Poole), Torsten Jolly (both Kesgrave), Jack Reynolds (Coventry) and Leon Penketh (Southampton). Also entered are Oliver Saunders (Poole), Owen Geach (Exeter), Tom Pearson (Leicester), Shannon Tucker (Exeter), Natalie Goulden (Poole), Connor Steel (Birmingham), Daisy Sherwood (Poole), Ryker Jolly (Kesgrave) and Alex Dickson (Exeter).

At 2pm & 3pm the Open Team Semi-Finals will take place featuring the 10 teams who survived the qualifying matches. There will be 2 5-team semi-finals where the top 2 teams in each semi-final will qualify for the final which is scheduled to round off the first day’s action at 6pm. Before that there is the Under 16’s final which is scheduled for a 4pm start and that will be followed by the Over 40’s Final which is scheduled for 5pm