There will be at least two home representatives of the home club when King’s Lynn stage the eighth Ben Fund Bonanza on Saturday, March 12 – and these first two names announced will certainly be given a warm welcome back.
Mads Korneliussen is returning to the Adrian Flux Arena, having enjoyed some of his best days in the Stars’ colours in 2011-13, and he will compete in the meeting as a previous winner, having won at Berwick in 2013.
Perhaps even more noteworthy will be the appearance of Australian Rory Schlein whose crash in Poland last May caused such concern. He has made a miraculous recovery and will have his first match back in the Bonanza.
Not only will Rory be riding but he is likely to at least offer some suggestions to organiser Paul Ackroyd on the staging of the meeting, following the success of his own Testimonial at the beginning of last season.
“I will have a sit down with Paul in the New Year and try to give him some ideas.”
The Aussie happily reported excellent progress from injuries which seemed certain to keep him sidelined longer than they have, or even to end his career. “I’m nearly ready. I start training with my new trainer in the first couple of weeks in January. He’s marked out a six-week programme, which is shorter than I normally do, but he says that’s all I need. He’s happy.
“I got the green light on 18th December from my Polish surgeons, who did all the operations, so it’s a matter of getting fit again and seeing what the body can cope with.
“The Polish surgeons have been great which is one of the reasons I have kept going back there. They didn’t sugar-coat it or anything but they said I should make a full recovery. I will have to race with a bit of metal in my back but after twelve months I can have them taken out.”
He hasn’t been back on a bike but that won’t be long. “We were looking to have my first rides to finish off my documentary, Road to Recovery, then we’ll do a bit of playing around just to get used to that feeling of riding again. The more laps the better!
“More time on the bike, I’m looking to do as many benefit meetings and individuals as I can, which I think benefited me at the beginning of the 2015 season.”
As well as The UK Elite League with the Stars, Rory will return to his club in Poland, Orzel Lodz. “I had a two-year deal with Lodz in Poland anyway, and they’re pretty happy that I want to ride again. They were one of the main factors of me getting the healthcare I did in Poland, so I owe them a bit really. You never know if it wasn’t for them I might not be on my own two legs.”