No Triumph for Pitt and Johnson at Laurels

Birmingham riders Emily Pitt and Ricki Johnson flew the flag for the club at the Ade Gale Laurels, hosted at Poole cycle speedway club this Sunday (29th).

Due to injury, Birmingham’s Chris Timms was unable to race but attended the event to support his fellow team mates.

A poor turnout saw only 7 competitors in the women’s event, racing a 10 man formula, meaning all heats were raced with 3 riders or less.

For Emily, this was her first competition of the season, after missing other race opportunities due to work commitments and exams.

Heats 2 and 3 saw Emily race back to back claiming third and second place respectively, followed by another second and third place in heats 8 and 10, completing the heats on a total of 10 points.

A run off for the final spot in the semi final between Emily and Sheffield’s Sophie Middleton saw Emily take the win from the inside gate, riding defensively for all 4 laps.

After a 2-minute interval, Emily was back on the track for the semifinal from grid 3, but she was unfortunately unable to claim a position in the final.

The final consisted of a clear winner from the gate, Lauren Hookway of Exeter, but the battle was happening behind her for the other rostrum positions. A slip for Leicester’s Elizabeth Rigley on the final bend opened a gap for team mate Chloe Whitehead to claim second spot, followed by Poole’s Krissy Mines.

Final positions:

1st Lauren Hookway – Exeter

2nd Chloe Whitehead – Leicester

3rd Krissy Mines – Poole

4th Elizabeth Rigley – Leicester

 

In the men’s, Ricki Johnson’s first race saw him hit the deck hard after colliding with Australian rider Ty Geertsen, resulting in a re-run with 3 riders where Johnson claimed second spot.

Heats 7 and 12 saw Johnson at the back of the race, unable to get through both times, bringing his total to 5 points after 3 races.

A more successful heat 13 saw Ricki confidently take the chequered flag after a strong gate and tight lines. However, another 4th in his final race completed his day of racing on 10 points, 5 points short of a semifinal place.

After top scoring in the heats, the pressure was on 2015 champion Greg Głuchowski to retain his title. With Australian rider Cody Chadwick moving at the tapes, it left only 3 riders contending for the top spot. This was claimed by former European champion Maciej Ganczarek, closely followed by Wednesfield’s Paul Heard and Poole’s Głuchowski.

Final positions:

1st Maciej Ganczarek

2nd Paul Heard

3rd Grzegorz Głuchowski

4th Cody Chadwick

Overall, the day consisted of some top quality racing from an international field of riders and to watch the highlights from the women’s and men’s Ade Gale Laurels, head over to southcoastjournalism.co.uk

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