Thursday March 25, 2021
JOE Lawlor has been handed the Leicester captaincy for their National Development League season.

Lawlor, 20, is the most experienced rider in a youthful Roger Webster Lion Cubs line-up, having already raced extensively at Championship level.

He helped the senior Lions to their trophy double in 2019 and is an asset of top-flight Sheffield, a club also owned by Leicester chiefs Damien and Marc Bates.

Lawlor heads up a much-changed side for the Roger Webster Lion Cubs along with Thompson twins Dan and Joe, who are the only two riders to remain from the team which clinched a league and KO Cup double in their inaugural campaign.

Manager Dave Howard said: “Joe is a good motivator in the pits, he’s a vocal character, and I feel he’s very much the man for the captain’s job.

“Another factor is that with the new teams involved in the NDL this year, he’s ridden on more of those tracks in the Championship in the past.

“He’s got the experience we need, and with him having another year in the Championship [with Edinburgh] it will also benefit him in the NDL, and he should push his average on.

“It’s going to be a difficult year to predict with the various changes, but I feel we have a strong top three, and with both Tom (Spencer) and Jamie (Halder) as second-strings, with an injury-free year both should push on as well.

“And given the accent of the NDL is now on developing young riders, I think it’s great that we’ve got two first-year team riders at reserve in Kai (Ward) and Ben (Trigger).

“They’ve both shown their potential at the levels they’ve ridden at, and it will be great to see their development during the season as they build up experience from taking that step up to team racing.”

The Lion Cubs plan to get on-track for practice when group sporting activity is permitted next month, and they are due to launch their title defence against Eastbourne at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena on Wednesday, May 19.

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