Inside Track 2014: World number three Niels-Kristian Iversen’s weekly look inside the Norfolk Arena
- Credit: IAN BURT
There was a lot of shock when our Danish team was announced for Event Two without Nicki Pedersen and myself in it.
But I see the meeting as a chance for Anders Secher (team boss) to have a look at a few different riders. It's an opportunity to see how they can get on riding for their country at a World Cup. Maybe he's having a look towards the future too.
I wouldn't say I'm disappointed to be missing our 'semi-final' because it's nothing to do with the fact I've been under performing. It gives me a bit of space to have a little bit of a break. I can try and regain some energy for August which is going to be a really busy month.
I think it's pretty well known that Nicki and I will be coming back into the side for the race-off and/or the final. The four that have been picked for next week's semi – Hans Andersen, Bjarne Pedersen, Peter Kildemand and Mads Korneliussen – know they are racing for their places. Those four are competing for two slots. They know that Nicki and I will be joining them in Poland – whenever we take to the track first.
They've been told they're riding for a couple of places. That said, I know Nicki and I are not 100pc certain of our slots because Anders is not afraid to drop anyone, and that includes us two – especially if we're not scoring points.
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Some people have said the manager has made a mad decision but I don't really see it as that much of a risk by leaving us out.
It's still a really good team without us. He has a plan, he's trying to motivate us all, and that's how he's going to go about doing it.
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He doesn't see it as a risk, if not he wouldn't be doing it. While you can't underestimate anyone, and the guys won't be taking the Czech Republic, Latvia or Sweden lightly, we just have so many quality riders as a country that you could select any four from our squad and I still think we'd have a decent team.
That said, I'm really pleased that Mads, one of my closest friends in speedway, has got a place in the team. He was in the 2011 side and did really well in the first meeting but also rode in the final when we came last. Since then, he's been out of the team for a couple of a years.
Mads has had a really good first half of the season in 2014, especially in Poland and Sweden, and he really deserves his spot. It just shows that if you put everything into your racing Anders is watching.
Mads calls himself the Black Sheep of Danish racing, and some people think he maybe doesn't take being a rider seriously enough, but I know him better than most people and let me tell you he wants it more than anyone.
We finished runners-up last year to Poland but this is a whole new year, a lot has changed, and a lot of meetings have been ridden in.
All I know is we're definitely going out to try and win it, and I'm sure the other boys feel the same as I do. Poland look strong and so do Australia, especially if (Chris) Holder gets back riding. I'd say they're probably the two teams to beat right now. It's going to be a another really competitive tournament.
- Niels-Kristian Iversen was talking to Gavin Caney.
* To read Niels' exclusive weekly column first, and in print – plus an update on Rory Schlein's 'Shave the Roo' charity challenge, buy Wednesday's paper. Visit www.edp24.co.uk/sport/kings-lynn-stars for an archive of Iversen's articles.