RIDER REVIEW: CHRIS HOLDER
SGP Rider Round-up shines a spotlight on the FIM Speedway Grand Prix stars of 2016. Today we feature Chris Holder.
If ever the 2012 world champion needed a big year, this was it after three seasons plagued by injury worries, coupled with the tragedy of his best friend Darcy Ward’s career coming to a cruel end.
They say form is temporary, class is permanent, and Holder produced a rock-solid season to put himself within touching distance of the medals.
Holder started 2016 in style with three straight final appearances, finishing third in Krsko, fourth in Warsaw and second in Horsens. He was denied Kjærgaard Danish SGP victory only by a great ride from Maciej Janowski in the final.
The 29-year-old stumbled in Prague and Cardiff, scoring five and six points respectively – two results which denied him a rostrum finish as he fell just two points short of Bartosz Zmarzlik in third and four adrift of Tai Woffinden in the silver-medal position in the final standings.
But Holder ended the year in red-hot form, reaching four finals in the last six rounds. Fourth in Malilla was followed by third in Gorzow. Eight points in Teterow was a solid return, before he secured second in Stockholm and accrued 11 in Torun.
The best was yet to come, though. Holder headed to Melbourne for the QBE Insurance Australian SGP with an outside chance of a top-three finish.
What he gave the home fans was arguably more special as he capped an heroic night’s work by seeing off Tai Woffinden, Bartosz Zmarzlik and Antonio Lindback in the final. The roof blew off Etihad Stadium as the five-time Aussie champion celebrated wildly.
His first SGP win in over four years was a moment CH will never forget, and the new world No.4 will be determined to crank up the volume at the Etihad again on October 28, 2017 – this time by becoming the first Aussie world champion crowned Down Under.
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