The elite cycle speedway team racing calendar kicks off this weekend, with round one of the 2018 British Cycling Cycle Speedway Supertrax Battle of Britain getting underway. The series sees teams representing the four cycle speedway regions take to the track over six rounds of head-to-head racing.
Last year’s champions, the South East and East face a stern test in Round 1 as they play host to a Midlands team, who narrowly lost out on the 2017 title at Ipswich’s Whitton Raceway venue.
The South East and East will be led out by 2017 HSBC UK | Cycle Speedway Elite Grand Prix Series champion Josh Brooke and are likely to remain largely unchanged from last year, boasting a number of Great Britain internationals including Lewis Osborne, Ashley Hill and Charlie Rumbold.
The Midlands team manager, Wayne Aris has a large pool of talent to choose from including national champion Myke Grimes and Great Britain riders Chris Timms and Lee Kemp. World junior champion Brandon Whetton has made the step up to the elite men’s class and could be one to watch for the Midlands.
The sides could not be separated on points last year, so this year’s clash is sure to be a fiercely contested affair and full of high quality racing for spectators.
The North and Scotland face a long trip down to Poole’s Harbourside Park, as they prepare to take on the South West and Wales in another highly competitive Round 1 match-up.
The team from the North and Scotland are bolstered by the form of three-time national champion Andy Angell along with his teammate and Scottish number one, Mikey Hewitson, whose experience could prove invaluable to a predominantly young but very talented team.
Former Great Britain team manager Dave Murphy has taken charge of the South West and Wales team and he will be boosted by the inclusion of Polish flyer, Dawid Bas and rumours of European champion Lukasz Nowacki, joining his squad.
With all four regions boasting their share of the most talented young riders around, this years elite junior competition is sure to be just as hotly contested. With Brandon Whetton making the move up to the elite men’s class, the dominance of the Midlands team in 2017 is sure to be challenged - with all regions looking to stake a claim for the top prize.
The action begins at 1pm on Sunday 22 April, taking place at Whitton Sports Centre, Ipswich and Harbourside Park, Poole.