SWC TEAMS UNVEILED
The teams for the FIM PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna Speedway World Cup have been revealed and Australian superstar Jason Crump returns to lead his country into Event One at Danish track Vojens on Saturday, July 9.
Aussie team manager Craig Boyce and his riders have made impassioned pleas for the 35-year-old to join them in the tournament after he sat out last year’s SWC to undergo surgery.
So they will be delighted to see him line up alongside national champion Chris Holder, who is currently third in the World Championship.
World Under-21 champion Darcy Ward, Troy Batchelor and Rory Schlein are all in scintillating form this season and complete a very promising line-up.
The men from Down Under come up against three-time world champion Nicki Pedersen, who also returns to the SWC after a year’s absence to fly the Danish flag.
The Odense-born racer teams up with SGP rival Kenneth Bjerre, Bjarne Pedersen, Niels-Kristian Iversen and surprise selection Mads Korneliussen. Nicki captains the side in the absence of Hans Andersen, who has been left out despite recovering from a broken foot.
The Danes also come up against Scandinavian neighbours Sweden, who are spearheaded by their national champion Andreas Jonsson and Fredrik Lindgren, who is enjoying the best season of his career.
Grand Prix hotshot Antonio Lindback also takes to the track at the venue where he won qualification for the World Championship last August. Swedish SGP wild card Thomas H Jonasson and Jonas Davidsson claim the final two places.
Germany complete the four-team field at Vojens and they track a young side, led by Birmingham and Edinburgh man Kevin Wolbert. Tobias Kroner is also in the quintet, along with Max Dilger, Tobias Busch and Mathias Schultz.
Meanwhile, Tomasz Gollob and Jaroslaw Hampel lead Poland’s chase for a third straight SWC title, which gets underway in Event Two at King’s Lynn on Monday, July 11.
They come up against Team Great Britain’s finest, featuring SGP racer Chris Harris, six-time British champion Scott Nicholls, Coventry skipper Edward Kennett, Birmingham racer Ben Barker and Wolverhampton hotshot Tai Woffinden.
Gollob and Hampel are joined in the Polish side by their SGP rival Janusz Kolodziej, but there is no place for Rune Holta, who has opted to sit out and rest the wrist injuries which have blighted his season.
In-form former Grand Prix regular Piotr Protasiewicz comes into the team, and Birmingham and Tarnow rider Krzysztof Kasprzak takes the final spot despite an up-and-down start to 2011.
The Brits and Poles also face stiff competition from Russia, who will be led into battle by Grand Prix sensation Emil Sayfutdinov. He is joined by World Championship rival Artem Laguta, who lines up with his brother Grigory. Poole Pirates’ reserve powerhouse Renat Gafurov also gets the nod and Roman Povazhny completes the line-up.
The Czech Republic are also in action at the Norfolk Arena and their team is fronted by brothers Lukas and Ales Dryml.
FIM Mitas Czech SGP wild card Matej Kus also rides, and King’s Lynn legend Tomas Topinka and his team mate Filip Sitera will hope to score big on their British Elite League home track.
The top two teams from each event qualify directly for the SWC Final at Gorzow’s Edward Jancarz Stadium in Poland on Saturday, July 16.
The second and third-placed teams from Vojens and King’s Lynn enter the SWC Race-Off at Gorzow on Thursday, July 14, where the top two nations will also progress into the SWC Final.
FULL SWC LINE-UPS:
EVENT ONE, VOJENS (JULY 9)
Referee: Mick Bates (Great Britain)
- Kevin Wolbert
- Max Dilger
- Tobias Busch
- Mathias Schultz
- Tobias Kroner
Team Manager: Rene Schafer
- Andreas Jonsson
- Fredrik Lindgren
- Antonio Lindback
- Jonas Davidsson
- Thomas H Jonasson
Team Manager: Bo Wirebrand
- Jason Crump
- Darcy Ward
- Troy Batchelor
- Rory Schlein
- Chris Holder
Team Manager: Craig Boyce
- Nicki Pedersen
- Bjarne Pedersen
- Kenneth Bjerre
- Niels-Kristian Iversen
- Mads Korneliussen
Team Manager: Anders Secher
EVENT TWO, KING’S LYNN (JULY 11)
Referee: Krister Gardell (Sweden)
- Roman Povazhny
- Artem Laguta
- Emil Sayfutdinov
- Renat Gafurov
- Grigory Laguta
Team Manager: Andrey Savin
Great Britain (Blue)
- Chris Harris
- Scott Nicholls
- Tai Woffinden
- Edward Kennett
- Ben Barker
Team Manager: Neil Middleditch
- Tomasz Gollob
- Jaroslaw Hampel
- Janusz Kolodziej
- Piotr Protasiewicz
- Krzysztof Kasprzak
Team Manager: Marek Cieslak
Czech Republic (Yellow)
- Ales Dryml
- Matej Kus
- Lukas Dryml
- Tomas Topinka
- Filip Sitera
Team Manager: Milan Spinka
- 20/08: GOLDEN DOUBLE FOR POLES
- 16/08: WOFFINDEN STEPS DOWN FROM GB SIDE
- 10/08: CHAPMAN: GB WILL GO FOR GOLD
- 07/08: COOK: WOFFY THE BENCHMARK
- 06/08: KING: BRITS NEED EUROPEAN RIDES
- 05/08: LEMON'S SELECTION HEADACHE
- 05/08: NIELSEN: NO SWC REGRETS
- 04/08: ROSCO HAILS LION WOFFY
- 03/08: AJ CONTENT WITH SWC BRONZE
- 02/08: DUDEK SALUTES ABSENT SKIPPER