Thursday 18 April, 2019
STOKE open their National League campaign when they make the short trip up the M6 to face the Belle Vue Colts at the National Speedway Stadium on Good Friday, 1pm.

The Potters will be at full strength for the meeting giving debuts to six of the seven riders with only Joe Alcock surviving from last seasons’ septet. All the Potters riders have had experience of the Manchester venue with new Potters skipper Tom Perry having most after spending two seasons with the Colts.

Belle Vue have made a few changes from last years side most notably the signing of young Leon Flint who has a sensational first season in league racing with Birmingham and slots into the number 1 race jacket for the Colts and he will be supported by Kyle Bickley who was consistently a double figure score rider for the Manchester club last season and former Potter Danny Phillips completing the top three. Ben Woodhull rides the big track well while the Colts will use rider replacement for the injured Paul Bowen. At reserve the Colts give debuts to Ben Rathbone and Jordan Palin who was in impressive form on Tuesday when he qualified for the British Under-21 final having finished in second place in his semi-final at the Isle of Wight finishing behind Scunthorpe’s Ryan Kinsley who rides in the Championship.

Potters vice-captain Luke Priest commented “We had the option of going to Belle Vue either early or late in the season and we decided to go early because that place will be a fortress later on in the season. Going early might just catch their lads out as they haven’t had a lot of track time and we can hopefully get a result there. Once the Belle Vue lads are dialled into the track they will be extremely hard to beat around the Manchester track but going early might just catch them a little cold and it’s more of a level playing field and we are definitely looking to come away with a result.”

BELLE VUE: Leon Flint, Ben Woodhull, Danny Phillips, Paul Bowen R/R, Kyle Bickley (Captain), Ben Rathbone, Jordan Palin
STOKE: Tom Perry (Captain), Shelby Rutherford, Luke Chessell, Luke Priest, Connor Coles, Corban Pavitt, Joe Alcock