The Birmingham Monarchs were crowned indoor team champions at Coventry on Sunday in the British Cycling Indoor Championships, presented by Coventry/England/GP speedway rider Chris Harris:
Having safely negotiated through the Semi Final they faced an impressive Wednesfield side, a solid Ipswich outfit and surprise packets Leicester in the Final.
A perfect start in heat 1 for Ricki Johnson with the Wednesfield rider excluded, however the Aces hit back strongly to take the lead after the first 4 block of races.
Birmingham took advantage of the next block of 4 races on grid 1 and won each heat to open up a 3 point lead at the halfway stage. All impressive winners.
Ipswich took advantage of grid 1’s in the next block of heats to play catch up, taking 2 wins. But with Johnson winning heat 11 the damage was limited.
Crucially with 4 heats remaining after heat 12 the lead had been extended on 38 points, 5 ahead of Ipswich on 33 but 8 ahead of Wednesfield who were on 30 points with grid 1’s to come in the last 4 heats.
With the Monarchs off the tough gate 4 the Aces did all they could do by winning 3 of the races however with the Monarchs taking 2nd places the title was sealed with one race to go.
Ricki Johnson completed his maximum in style by blasting to easy victory in the final heat to scenes of jubilation from the riders and supporters. Johnson given the bumps on his return to the pits.
BIRMINGHAM 51 – Ricki Johnson 16, Matt Smith 13, Chris Timms 11, Scott Millward 11, Nathan Groves DNR. Wednesfield 44, Ipswich 41, Leicester 22.
Monarchs riders also finished on the podium in the individual competitions. Ricki Johnson came 3rd in the senior open event, Paul Timms came 3rd in the over 40’s competition.
Ewan Hancox made an impressive indoor debut coming 5th on 15 points in the U16 Final whilst Steve Hodgkinson came 6th in the over 40’s final whilst Chris Timms, Smith and Millward all made the open final.