THOMPSON TWINS STEP UP

Wednesday November 20, 2019
LOCAL teenage stars Dan and Joe Thompson are to be handed a massive opportunity with Leicester’s senior team next season.

The twins, who will turn 16 on April 22, have been named as the reserve pairing for the Watling JCB Lions in 2020 after a year of meteoric progress.

Born in Nuneaton, Dan and Joe have been riding at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena ever since the venue opened, and were club mascots prior to progressing into the National League with the Roger Webster Lion Cubs this year.

And boss Stewart Dickson admits it was the sight of the twins taking on and defeating far more established riders at that level, especially at home, which persuaded him that the time would be right for them to make the big step up.

Dan and Joe will both start on averages of 2.00, and Dickson insists there will be no pressure placed on their young shoulders – and that he and the rest of the team will give them every support and encouragement.

Dickson said: “Some people might say it may be too soon for them, but I’m not one of those people. I’ve been astonished at their progress at National League level, and obviously I’ve seen a lot of them around our home track.

“Dan and Joe have been the subject of enquiries from other teams, and I think it would have been a travesty if they had come back and raced against Leicester.

“I promised this time last year when I came in some short to long-term thinking, and this is very much towards the long-term, but when you look at where they are now compared to this time last year, their progress has been incredible.

“The other five riders in the team will have to look out for them and help them, but the way I’ve structured the team it’s been done so that they will hopefully stay at reserve all season.

“I know some will see this as a gamble, but as far as I’m concerned these boys are big news for Leicester, and we’ve got to get them in.”

Dickson also confirmed the club have a contingency plan for the early weeks of the season, as riders are not allowed to race at the professional levels of the sport until they turn 16.

The Lions will not start their official programme until that stage, although there will still be track action at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena in other competitions prior to that April 22 date.



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