Eagles count cost after wasted Belle Vue trip

Edward Kennett
Edward Kennett

Eastbourne Eagles were left frustrated and out of pocket after their Monday evening meet with Belle Vue was postponed after only a matter of minutes.

The Eagles travelled all the way up to Manchester – a distance of around 270 miles – but failed to even complete one lap of the Belle Vue circuit before officials deemed the track unfit for use after prolonged spells of heavy rain.

The Eagles’ team manager Trevor Geer said, “The track was in an atrocious condition. Everyone was unanimous that it was unrideable - all of our riders and the Belle Vue riders, even the people from Sky.

“Belle Vue have enough experience and knowledge. They should have known by early afternoon that it wasn’t going to go ahead.

“Of course it was very frustrating. With the price of fuel today, it wasted a lot of money as well as time.”

The rain had held off for a short spell in the north, allowing Belle Vue time to blade and re-lay their track in an attempt to bring it up to standard before the tapes rose.

However, it was obvious the meet could not take place after a collision on the first bend of the heat one between Eagles’ guest Ben Barker and Belle Vue’s Rory Schlein.

The postponement was Eastbourne’s second that week as their fixture at home to Peterborough was called-off on Thursday morning after also falling victim to the bad weather.

They came during a very busy spell for the Lifestyle Eagles in which they were due to face five meets in just nine days.

With both Joonas Kylmakorpi and Simon Gustafsson still not up to full fitness, the postponements could be somewhat of a blessing in disguise for Geer’s squad.

“Hopefully they’ll both be fit for when those matches are rescheduled. Simon is back from injury but is well below par as he’s picked up a fever. Hopefully him and Joonas will be back in time for our next meet.

“Once we get all seven riders back to full fitness I believe we can find some consistency. We need to start picking up points on the road and I think that can happen once our team is back to full strength.”

Eastbourne’s guest rider Ed Kennett insists his injured shoulder will be fine after a nasty looking crash against Peterborugh Panthers at Arlington on Saturday.

Kennett was used as a rider replacement for the injured Joonas Kylmakorpi during Eagles’ 50-45 victory. During the meet Kennett clipped the back wheel of Panther’s rider Kenneth Bjerre and was flicked over the handlebars and landed awkardly on the Arlington shale.

Kennett said, “It was a heavy landing. The shoulder is still a bit sore but it is just muscle and ligament damage, no broken bones thankfully.

“The movement in the shoulder is good and I’m ready race again.”