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Swindon Robins set to face Great Britain in pre-season challenge meeting
SWINDON Robins will warm-up for the defence of their Elite League title with an attractive clash against a Great Britain Lions side.
The Blunsdon club were without any pre-season fixtures after Peterborough informed Swindon they could not be accommodated for the two sides’ planned challenge fixture, and Robins bosses Gary Patchett and Alun Rossiter have acted quickly to bring the best of British to the Abbey Stadium on Thursday, March 21.
Great Britain and Poole boss Neil Middleditch has agreed to manage the team, in a meeting which is likely to be one of very few chances for the country’s top riders to prepare together for this summer’s World Cup.
Former Grand Prix riders Chris Harris and Scott Nicholls are expected to lead the Lions side, which is also likely to include Danny King, Craig Cook, Ben Barker and Adam Roynon, but Tai Woffinden will be unavailable due to his GP commitments in New Zealand.
Edward Kennett is also likely to be part of the GB set-up in 2013, but will make his first appearance for the Robins against his fellow countrymen, in a meeting team manager Alun Rossiter believes is the perfect way to prepare for the new season.
“We are starting off with an individual meeting for Bob Kilby, and then this will be the first opportunity we have to be together as a full team, and that is the main thing for having a meeting like this,” he said.
“I think it is an attractive meeting with a great line-up, and it will be a stiff test for us that’s for sure.
“It’s important to have a test, but it is also about working things through off the track, and it will be nice to see us as a team because it is all a bit new and a bit fresh with some new guys.”
Chances for Britain’s top riders to race as a team are few and far between, and Robins co-owner Gary Patchett is pleased to be able to help boss Neil Middleditch out.
“It gives Middlo the chance to get his team together early and get some time together before the World Cup in the summer, because they don’t get the chance ride together very often,” he said.
“It will be a stiff test for us, and it’s important the guys get some track time in at Swindon as a team before the serious stuff begins.”
The racing will begin at the usual time of 7.30pm, with normal admission prices applying.