Hampel admits concerns over Polish favourites

World number two rider Jaroslaw Hampel concedes this year's Polish side does not pack the power of their all-conquering 2010 team ahead of tonight's defence of their world crown at King's Lynn.

Poland are chasing a third straight World Team Cup gold medal when they face hosts GB, Russia and the Czech Republic at the Norfolk Arena.

With Hampel, world champion Tomasz Gollob and former King's Lynn ace Piotr Protasiewicz in their ranks, the holders have been hotly-tipped to retain their title in Saturday's final on home shale at Gorzow.

But with Rune Holta sitting out the tournament due to wrist injuries and Janusz Kolodziej and Krzysztof Kasprzak both struggling to hit top form, Hampel knows the Poles won't get an easy ride in Norfolk.

'I don't think Kolodziej is as good as last year and we don't know what we can expect with Kasprzak racing in the team. He's not having a very good season as well,' he said.

'We're not that strong. But we still want to go well.

'It's going to be interesting because we don't know which team is strongest now.

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'The Australian team looks very strong and all of the rest look good on paper. I don't know what we can expect. Of course we won last year and we will try to do that again.'

Victory for the Poles at King's Lynn would carry them straight through to the final and Hampel cannot wait to take to the Norfolk Arena circuit.

'I've got good memories of this place. It's lovely. I like this track,' he said. 'It's a good track for this meeting because there are so many lines on it you can use. It's not a normal English track because it's not that tight. I remember when we raced at Eastbourne in 2004; that place was very difficult.

'This one is good, but the British guys are going to be really strong I think. They know this track much more than we do.'

With a large Polish community in the King's Lynn area, Hampel hopes his side will receive plenty of backing at the Norfolk Arena.

'Hopefully we can have a good crowd of Polish fans at the stadium,' he said. 'Then it will feel like we're in Poland.'

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