GOING ALL THE WAY?
Saturday 6th October 2012, 14:27
World Championship leader Chris Holder admits he has been taken aback by his breathtaking ascent to the top of the sport as he prepares for the biggest night of his life in Torun.
The 25-year-old leads Danish star Nicki Pedersen by two points going into the FIM Torun SGP of Poland this evening. Defending champion Greg Hancock also fancies his chances of being No.1, despite being third and 10 adrift of the Australian.
Holder made his full-time debut in European club speedway with the Isle of Wight Islanders in the 2006 British Premier League.
He has already won four SGP rounds, helped his country win three FIM Speedway World Cup silver medals and claimed league championships with Poole in Britain, Lejonen in Sweden and Torun, whose track he knows better than any other Grand Prix rider.
Holder knows he faces a huge fight to become Australia’s fifth world champion. But the quadruple Aussie champ is proud to have gone from promising newcomer to the edge of glory in just seven years.
"I never really dreamed of being in the top three in the world or even battling it out to be the world champion. Itâ€™s amazing. Iâ€™m really proud of what Iâ€™ve done."
- Chris Holder
He said: “I never really dreamed of being in the top three in the world or even battling it out to be the world champion. It’s amazing. I’m really proud of what I’ve done. I’m happy my family are all here to watch me too and hopefully it works out well. Hopefully I’ll be on top, but either way, I should be on the podium.
“Obviously we all race to be world champion and only a select few get to do that. I’m not there yet. I’ve still got to do the job tonight. It isn’t going to be easy, but I’ll give it everything and hopefully it comes my way. Winning it would be unreal for my whole family.”
Holder’s Dad Mick, his Mum Karen and youngest brother Jack have flown in from Australia, hoping to witness the Sydneysider’s big moment. His partner Sealy and son Max will also be in attendance, along with his elder brother James and a raft of Aussie speedway stars.
Given that Holder has never been in such a glorious position, he knows there will be a few nerves on such a big night. But he is ready to overcome them and give more seasoned stars Pedersen and Hancock a scrap for the gold.
He said: “There are obviously nerves. If you’re not nervous, there’s something wrong with you. This is as big as it gets. I was fine on Friday, but obviously tonight will be a different story.
“If it’s not going really well during the meeting, I’ll just keep cool and fight to turn it around.
“Nicki is a three-time world champion and he knows what’s going on. He’s not silly, he has been around and it’ll take more than a few race wins from me to knock him down a bit. He’s super tough and it’s going to be a tough one.
“They’ve been building it up between me and Nicki, but Greg is still in with a chance for sure. I’ve still got to go out and beat everyone and I’m not really thinking about them too much.”
Holder and Pedersen have ironically been allocated pit bays right next to each other in Torun, but the Poole skipper says he won’t let his noisy neighbour disturb him.
“It all adds to it, I guess,” he said. “It’s going to be good for the fans and everyone else. I don’t think we’ll be concentrating on each other, though. We’ll just be going out racing.”
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