Location: Astley, Lancashire
Event: 17 March 2013
Report: Steve Whitaker
Bury made the short trip down the East Lancs Road to face local rivals Astley in the much anticipated season opener.
Bury were deflated by the news that the Polish duo expected to ride for their opponents had not arrived.
This somewhat reduced the competitive nature of the match with Bury easing to victory 97-50.
There was some aggressive racing, and action usually involving Danny Hughes who was keen to make an impact on his return to action.
Heat one saw Parish and Whitaker lead from the tapes. Hughes challenged Whitaker on the outside of turn three and ended up off his bike as a result, with the Bury duo easing for the maximum win.
Maximums followed for Bury up to heat six, Astley finally broke the string of maximums when Danny Hughes after a race re-run three times finally got the better of Luke Jamson.
It was a very robust race with body parts making contact and Danny withholding a strong last bend challenge to secure the shared heat to much applause from the locals.
Heat eight saw Astley get a first heat win after Whitaker got a tapes exclusion, Parish raced for the win as Astley trailed for a 5-4 win.
There were more maximums and heat wins for Bury until the final heat with the exception of heat 10 where Danny Hughes secured the only race win for his team.
Bury raced professionally and got the season started as they were hoping. There were maximum scores for the returning Damian Zareba, Chris Parish, Neil Howarth and Dawid Renc, Whitaker was unbeaten on the track and solid scores from the ever present Joe Allen, Luke Jamson and Will Owens.
A good workout for Bury who look certain to change the line up for next week in an effort to get the squad races.
Astley can be proud of their efforts in returning to Division One with Danny Hughes impressive.
But the score line shows that in our region you need your best team to compete.
Stronger challenges lie ahead for Bury who look focused and are hoping they can finish one place higher than 2012.
Astley and Tyldesley 50
Please credit www.britishcycling.org.uk and link back if you use any of our race results.
British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.