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|Tuesday 31st March 2015|
Aces Under Starters Orders
With the Elite League season having officially kicked off earlier this month, Belle Vue boss Mark Lemon says his boys are 'chomping at the bit' to get into action.
Fans got their first glimpse of the 2015 squad at the club’s annual press and practice on Monday, where they defied an unstable weather report to take their first laps of the Belle Vue circuit.
But the new-look Rentruck Aces will taste their first competitive action on Good Friday with their traditional opening bout against the Wolverhampton Wolves at 12 noon.
A sense of disappointment hung over the visiting Wolves when former world champion Tai Woffinden declared his intention to sit out of Elite League racing in 2015.
But such feelings were short lived when the club revealed Monmore favourite Fredrik Lindgren was set to make an emotional return to the den in his stead.
The nucleus of the Wolves septet boasts a great deal of experience as well as two riders who know their way around Kirkmanshulme Lane, namely Lindgren and Peter Karlsson.
USA International Ricky Wells returns to the Black Country outfit together with popular Swede Jacob Thorssell and Polish newcomer Tobiasz Musielak to complete the Wolverhampton 1-5.
Such a busy Good Friday schedule means inevitably there will be some clashes, and the Wolves were dealt a huge blow when they learned that Lewis Blackbird was required at Peterborough.
It means their Tier 1 Elite Draft reserve will miss the clash with the Rentruck Aces, but the club have moved quickly to book the services of Carl Wilkinson as a guest alongside Josh Bates.
Lemon is aware of Wolverhampton’s fondness for Kirkmanshulme Lane, but declared his confidence in his team to deliver a home victory.
He said: “Monday was really just a shakedown to get familiar with each other and settle in at the track, but obviously the enthusiasm is starting to boil as we get closer to Friday.
“The boys are really keen to get their Belle Vue race suits on and get stuck in so hopefully the weather will be kind to us so we can see some competitive action!
“Even though we’ll be coming in fresh as a team all of the boys will have had a bit of track time prior to the meeting, so I’m not too concerned about that to be honest.
“I wouldn’t expect them to be sat around twiddling their thumbs just because Belle Vue hasn’t started racing yet, so I’m happy that they’ll be getting the practice they need to stay focused.
“The fact that Wolverhampton have had more matches than we have doesn’t put them at an advantage, after all they’ve already had an early injury scare with Tobiasz Musielak.
“But at the same time, we know this is a team that always goes well around our track.
“Fredrik Lindgren, of course, is back in the British league after 12 months out and we all know what a powerful rider he is when he dons his Wolves colours.
“He’s a tough challenger and a great competitor as is Peter Karlsson, who seems to have found a bit of form coming into this campaign and is definitely a dark horse around our track.
“It’s not going to be an easy meeting, but I’m confident the management has assembled a good team for me to work with and I believe they’re more than capable of rising to the challenge.”
TEAM LINE-UPS - FRIDAY APRIL 3RD
Belle Vue ‘ Rentruck’ Aces
Matej Zagar, Max Fricke, Scott Nicholls (C), Craig Cook, Simon Stead, Steve Worrall, Stefan Nielsen
Wolverhampton ‘Parrys International’ Wolves
Fredrik Lindgren, Ricky Wells, Tobiasz Musielak, Peter Karlsson (C), Jacob Thorssell, Carl Wilkinson (G), Josh Bates
|Friday 27th March 2015|
Friday Vue - Armed & Ready to Ride
Returning Belle Vue captain Scott Nicholls has been eyeing up his Elite League competition in the build up to the club’s opening bout against the Wolverhampton Wolves on Good Friday.
The 36-year old, who hails from Woodbridge, Suffolk, has been freshening up on his track craft with a number of individual meetings in Sheffield, Lakeside and Swindon amongst others.
It has given the seven-time British Champion the opportunity to weight up which of his rivals appear the most imposing, but admits there’s still a long season ahead.
He observed: “Looking at the level of competition I do have a gut feeling about who’s looking the most dangerous but as we all know, anything can happen in Speedway!
“I’m not the kind of person who sits down and scrutinises their opponents. Every team is there to be beaten and if you’re concentrating too hard on their game you're not focused on yours.
“Most of the clubs in the Elite League are capable of having a successful year, which is important for the sport because it hopefully means we’re in for a very close, competitive season.”
A shuffle of the pack over the winter period has produced a handful of changes within the Belle Vue ranks, both at rider and management level.
42-year old veteran athlete Mark Lemon, who retired from domestic league racing in 2014, is back in the pits under the new guise of team manager for the Rentruck Aces’ upcoming campaign.
Under his command are club favourites Matej Zagar, Craig Cook and Stefan Nielsen who, together with Nicholls, once again roll up to the tapes donned in Belle Vue’s iconic colours.
Former Aces man Simon Stead makes an emotional return to Manchester after a seven-year absence, while freshmen Max Fricke and Steve Worrall prepare to make their Mancunian debut.
Skipper Nicholls insists lessons have been learned from the mistakes of last season, and that the squad’s new look will have a positive effect on their fortunes.
He said: “I think having some new blood in the team will shake things up for us, and Mark Lemon coming in as our new manager is brilliant because he can look at a meeting with a racers head.
“He was still actively competing last season and it’s always beneficial to have a fresh set of eyes to analyse your progress, especially for the younger, less experienced riders.
“It’s not an easy job when you've got to concentrate on the programme but having that intuition with regards to what’s going on with the track, the riders and the meeting is crucial.
“We’ve got a completely new outlook from top to bottom this season and I feel it’s a very positive one. The team has been well received by the fans and we can’t wait to get racing!”
Despite their less-than-desirable results away from Manchester, Belle Vue’s fortunes at home last year made a dramatic U-turn on previous seasons.
The club surrendered only four matches to their visiting opposition, but skipper Nicholls believes that’s more than enough evidence that there’s still room for improvement.
“Every team wants to make their track a fortress that concerns the others because it generates a good deal of enthusiasm amongst the fans and a great buzz around the club,” he says.
“It’s something we had last year. The fans enjoyed the fact that they had a team who were quite strong on their own turf and I’m confident our guys will put in even more effort this season.
“Apart from Eastbourne, nobody went through the card without a black mark last year and that just goes to show the competitive nature of the league.
“If we can make it a clean sweep and avoid any pitfalls, while backing ourselves up with a few wins away, it'd be ideal because it’ll give us a very good chance of making the pay offs.”
April is teeming with action for Belle Vue as they prepare to tackle no less than nine matches against the likes of big-hitters Poole, King’s Lynn and Coventry; last year’s top three teams.
“Having such a busy April, to me, is a good thing because it’s nice to get stuck in as soon as possible and by the time our first away match comes around everybody will have had a few laps.
“People have been commenting on how we’re going to be meeting the toughest teams very early on but I think that’s the best time to meet them because everybody’s still getting into the groove.
“At the end of the day every team is there to be beaten and if you can’t do that at the beginning of the season, when are you going to beat them?”
Belle Vue open their season with a Good Friday clash against Wolverhampton, tapes up at 12pm.
|Friday 27th March 2015|
NSS Build - Week 11
This week the site produced the most visual evidence of the build to date, and excitement was rife about the place with the appearance of the first wave of steel beams on Tuesday afternoon.
Not yet destined for the area of the stadium, the beams were delivered to the site of the new National Basketball Centre situated to the west of the Belle Vue Leisure Centre.
ISG had warned us prior to its delivery that arrival of the steel on site would be proceeded by vigorous progress and true to their word, by Friday afternoon, the skeleton of most northerly section of the building stood proud.
With the National Speedway Stadium due to take delivery of its first round of steel in mid-April, the rapid progress on the Basketball Centre has our on-site team chomping at the bit for when its turn arrives.
Developments regarding the new home of the Belle Vue Aces remain in similar condition to last week, with the trenches of the Main Grandstand being extended across the site at a healthy pace.
But contrary to our initial thoughts, ISG have intriguingly been directing some of the build effort towards the South Stand this week with a number of small trenches starting to appear towards the western end of the structure.
Elsewhere, the larger of the two 3G all-weather pitches is on the cusp of having its base layers completed. Only one more layer of fine gravel remains to be laid before the drainage pipes start to be installed.
|Wednesday 11th March 2015|
Coaches to Away Meetings
There will be a coach running to the following away meetings:
Ricky's Big Day at Sheffield - Sunday 22nd March
Wolverhampton v Aces - Tuesday 7th April
Leicester v Aces - Saturday 11th April
Click here for prices and details of how to book your seat.
Please note that the coaches will run subject to sufficient numbers.
There will also be two tours running to the British Grand Prix at Cardiff in July, click the link above for full details.
|Tuesday 2nd December 2014|
Friends of Belle Vue Speedway 2015
The 'Friends of Belle Vue Speedway' Riders' Sponsorship Scheme will be running again for the 2015 season.
The aim of the scheme is to raise funds to go towards the riders' running costs such as fuel, tyres, transport costs etc. Details of the scheme are contained in the introduction letter and application form below....
To be a Member costs £15 per year, please click here to read the introduction letter which contains details of the scheme.
If you would like to show your support for the Club and become a 'Friend of Belle Vue', you can download the application form by clicking here.
Application forms will also be available at the track during next season.
Many thanks to everyone who has supported the scheme in previous seasons, we hope it will be an even bigger success in 2015.
|Monday 3rd November 2014|
Elbow Music Video featuring Belle Vue
Watch the video to Elbow's moving song 'Charge', featuring Belle Vue's own Craig Cook and Chris Morton MBE!