December 20 2014 Latest news:
Friday, July 25, 2014
King’s Lynn is gearing up to host a sporting World Cup tomorrow – but what on earth is all the fuss about?
For a start, more than 5,000 fans will squeeze into the town’s Norfolk Arena to watch four men at a time throttle around an oval track on motorised bikes that have no breaks. The action is breathtaking and the crashes, unfortunately, are even more spectacular.
The noise, the smell and the atmosphere is unlike anything that you will ever enjoy in the county. And while this is the fifth year in a row that Lynn have hosted a World Cup meeting, the 2014 version is likely to be the best yet.
World champion Tai Woffinden, Greg Hancock and Darcy Ward will all be on show for their respective countries. They are three of the best riders on the planet and are currently the top trio in this year’s world championship standings. In essence, their presence is the equivalent of Lionel Messi, Ronaldo and let’s say James Rodriguez turning out at The Walks – which let’s face it is never going to happen.
Heats last around about 60 seconds a time, containing four laps, and there will 20 of them. During each race riders will overtake each other countless times – more often than not – in acts of bravery that would put many ‘courageous’ sportsmen to shame.
Great Britain (red helmet colour)
1. Tai Woffinden (captain)
2. Danny King
3. Chris Harris
4. Simon Stead
Team boss: Alun Rossiter
1. Mattia Carpanese (c)
2. Nicolas Vicentin
3. Michele Paco Castagna
4. Nicolas Covatti
Team boss: Alessandro Dalla Valle
1. Darcy Ward
2. Jason Doyle
3. Troy Batchelor
4. Chris Holder (c) - may be replaced by Cameron Woodward due to injury
Team boss: Mark Lemon
1. Greg Hancock (c)
2. Gino Manzares
3. Max Ruml
4. Ricky Wells
Team boss: Billy Hamill
Finally, you can stand where you want, drink beer, wave your country’s flag, and be within inches of the men who will be putting on a show that really has to be seen to be believed. It’s a truly great sporting experience so why not head to the Arena and take in the racing, which starts at 7pm.
Speedway World Cup format
- The winner of tomorrow’s meeting (Event One) will progress straight to the final in Poland on August 2.
- The countries that finish second and third will qualify for a ‘race-off’ in Poland on July 31.
- The team that comes fourth are eliminated.
- The same as above applies for Event Two (the other ‘semi-final) in Sweden on July 29 where Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic and Latvia lock horns.
- Event One and Two’s runners-up and third-placed teams will race in a last-chance-saloon to reach the final during a meeting called the ‘race-off’.
– The winner of that match joins the Event One and Two winners, as well as reigning champions Poland, in the final.
- To hear a West Norfolk Sports Podcast special (show 37) on tomorrow’s event, including the thoughts of sports reporter Gavin Caney, Swindon-based journalist Andy Warren and GB racer Simon Stead, click here.
- For more build-up buy today’s EDP which includes an eight-page Speedway World Cup supplement ahead of this weekend’s extravaganza.