RIDERS with a Dunfermline-based cycle speedway club are hoping to pedal into an historic season next year after COVID-19 put the brakes on it.

Fife Revolutions, who train and race at their custom-built track at Queen Anne High School, had only just started their first-ever season in British Cycling's North and Scotland Division One in March when the outbreak of the virus called competition to a halt.

Just four years after forming the club, headed by coach Craig Masson, had reached that level after winning Division Two in 2018, before only losing out on retaining their title last year to Astley and Tyldesley.

They were then accepted into Division One following the region's AGM last November, meaning that they would field teams in each of their three leagues for the first time.

A narrow 91-82 to seasoned campaigners Stockport provided optimism for their Division One campaign but, after it was put on hold, action won't return until next year at the earliest.

Craig, a principal teacher of support in guidance at Queen Anne, said: "The season's ran away from us so it's about preparing to start come March now, which is frustrating because we'd got off to a good start. There was a lot of youngsters involved, especially in the Scottish Open and in our first league match.

"We're hopeful that, because of the large uptake in cycling during lockdown and the fact there's not been much going on, that they will come back and be motivated for starting afresh come March.

"We're still planning ahead that as if it's going to run as normal, so we're still having the Scottish Open to start the season. I've still to hear back from British Cycling if we will get the home nations competition again; I'd imagine that would be the case since that was cancelled.

"All of our riders have been really good during lockdown, keeping themselves fit and things like that, so that's not going to be a problem for us.

"We're just itching to get back on the track and get going again."

Craig, who said that restrictions over different age groups able to take part in contact sport meant that the club decided not to resume training, continued: "We're keeping in touch with everybody via social media and we're still getting the same level of engagement that way, which is good, so I'm confident that when we do get the go-ahead to start properly again, everybody will come back afresh, eager to get on with it again and make an impression in Division One.

"That was the big thing for us; we were making our debut in Division One, we were getting the bigger events such as the home internationals, the Scottish Open – which again was the biggest it had ever been – and we had the most youngsters we'd ever had racing for us, so it was all geared up to be one of the biggest seasons for us.

"We've had a good three years and then we've had a break for a year. We're basically starting again but obviously in a better position because the riders are a wee bit more experienced. We'll still aim for the same targets as what it would've been this year; make a good impression in Division One, challenge for Division Two and bring more youngsters through.

"I'm confident that will happen for next year."

Meanwhile, club rider Jamie Penny received recognition for his track achievements recently when he was named as the winner of the youth category at the East Fife Sports Council awards.