||Last Updated: Jan 7th, 2016 - 20:01:33
Coventry Cycle Speedway club started the new year in style by successfully promoting the British Indoor Finals at the Sports Connexion, Ryton on Dunsmore, last weekend.
Hundreds of riders, officials, visitors and fans flocked to the two-day fiesta of Cycle Speedway as the Coventry club skillfully staged over 15 hours of racing in a marathon promotion. It included over 300 heats to determined eight separate British champions – at both team and individual level.
Their efforts drew widespread praise from riders and officials alike, including from British Cycling board member Colin Docker and national competitions secretary Pete Ward, for their slick presentation and efficient event management of the finals.
Thanks to securing major sponsorship, and assisted by high programme sales, the championships were a financial success. It is anticipated the club are likely to apply to stage the finals again in future years.
And, to cap a highly successful start to the new year, there was success on the track for the Coventry club as Kyle Roberts, Dan Drewett and Mason Phillips all enjoyed a terrific start to 2016.
Roberts, who had rose to stardom in 2014 but missed 2015 due to a motor Speedway accident, announced he was back in a big way with a stunning performance in the British Under 16s final.
The 16-year-old, from Bretford, was excluded in his first outing, his chance of a podium finish apparently shattered. However, he recovered superbly well to win his four remaining programmed rides in fine fashion.
He then jetted from the gate in a three rider race-off to claim the silver medal, so improving upon his bronze medal a year ago. Roberts looked to be back to his best of late 2014, when he claimed a string of individual event victories, including the Welsh Open Final.
Roberts said: “I have missed my Cycle Speedway in 2015 as I have been attempting to break into motor Speedway. It’s great to be involved again with all my friends at Coventry Cycle Speedway and I can confirm I will be racing for the club in the Elite League in 2016”.
Drewett, aged 18 and from Coundon, raised eyebrows to qualify for the British Open Final, ahead of several more fancied riders. Although, as expected, he struggled in his first senior national final, Drewett showed he is on the verge of a major breakthrough at this level.
Mason Phillips, in his first Indoor campaign, was a model of impressive consistency in the British Under 19s Final. The Rugby based 17-year-old reeled off five straight second places to final on 15 points, just missing out of a podium placing.
However, there was disappointment for Coventry in the British Junior Team finals, as their highly fancied foursome crashed out at the semi-final stage.
Attention now turns to the 2016 outdoor season, which runs from March to October. The new season will start with regional Midland League racing. Coventry, newly elevated to the top tier Elite League, are scheduled to face East Anglian glamour club Ipswich in their first home Elite League match on Sunday 3rd April at Hearsall Common.
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