Former champions Horspath face high-flying Coventry in Elite League

Former champions Horspath face high-flying Coventry in Elite League

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Former champions Horspath Hammers travel to the West Midlands to face joint leaders Coventry in round four of the British Cycling Cycle Speedway Elite League, while reigning champions, Wednesfield Aces, will entertain Poole at Ashmore Park in Wolverhampton.

Horspath lost out to Ipswich in a rare defeat at the Village in round three, after a last heat decider sent the Eagles joint top with Coventry. The Hammers will look to field a strong team in the West Midlands, where former British champion Mark Boaler is expected to turn out for the Oxford based side.

Polish rider Lukasz Nowacki will fly in for the match and a number of riders could join him on the flight, including world champion Bartek Grabowski. Backing up the Polish contingent will be current British Champion, Zak Payne, along with multiple British finalists Mark Carmichael and Lewis Osbourne.

Coventry are expected to welcome back domiciled Pole, Domink Rycharski, who has been sidelined since September with a wrist injury. A natural fast starter, he will offer a much needed top-end presence after Coventry’s loss to Wednesfield in round three.

The home side will still be without the services of Australian Bobby McMillan, who has gone back to Australia and is seemingly unlikely to feature for the remainder of the season.

With the potential for both teams being evenly matched up, expect some fireworks at Hearsall Common, this is one not to be missed.

League table

Coventry 3 2 0 1 4 4
Ipswich 3 2 0 1 -2 4
Wednesfield 2 1 0 1 13 2
Poole 1 0 0 1 -14 0
Horspath 1 0 0 1 -1 0

After a shaky start against Ipswich in round two, Wednesfield regained their form in round three with an emphatic win at home over Coventry. More of the same will be expected of the Aces, who are a tough nut to crack on their long home track.

Poole will be buoyed by the addition of Australian Ty Geertsen to their ranks. The Adelaide based rider flew in to contest the Laurels over Whitsun weekend as part of a six-week tour. Laurels champion, Matiej Ganczarek, has re-discovered his form of old, while fellow Pole and captain Greg Gluchowski is a doubt for the trip, citing work commitments.

A repeat of Poole’s infamous 2013 victory at Ashmore Park is probably an unlikely scenario, especially without Gluchowski. The Aces are robust unit and rarely leave an inch to spare; Poole will no doubt be up for that challenge though.

Ipswich sit out round four, with five teams in the series. A Coventry victory against Horspath will mean they are certain to be on top at the halfway stage after round five of the 10-round series, where they take their turn to sit out a round in two weeks’ time.

Both matches start at 2pm and are free entry. Coventry race at Hearsall Common, Hearsall Lane, Coventry, while Wednesfield race at Ashmore Park, Griffiths Drive, Wolverhampton.