King’s Lynn chief Lyon backs the Brits
King's Lynn chief Rob Lyon is hoping his World Cup speedway stars come back safe and sound ahead of this weekend's opening event to the global showpiece.
Denmark track a trio of Lynn's Elite League play-off chasing squad on home shale in Vojens this Saturday with Kenneth Bjerre, Niels-Kristian Iversen and Mads Korneliussen looking to get the hosts' off to a perfect start. Skipper Olly Allen is on standby for the Team GB squad for Monday's second event at King's Lynn which also features a Czech Republic team including Filip Sitera and Tomas Topinka.
Only the winners from both events progress directly to the final on July 16 in Poland with the second and third-placed countries contesting a race-off two days earlier.
'It's a testament to the way the boys have been going to have that many riders involved,' said Lyon. 'That is six riders out of a nine man squad which means a lot of interest for the King's Lynn fans. Hopefully the lads will come out of it unscathed and all have good meetings. I guess Kenneth and Niels potentially pick themselves, but it's nice to see Mads getting the recognition he deserves. He has had a great season and not just for us but look at his results abroad in Poland, albeit in the second division.
'He has been knocking in big, big scores everywhere and I believe he has been going well in Denmark as well. Good luck to him. I'm pleased he got a call up. Olly has got himself in and around the GB squad and he is unfortunate not to be involved at King's Lynn – although that is old ground now. I'm sure he'll be part of it and the Czechs have gone for some experience in Tomas and then Filip around King's Lynn which is understandable.'
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Lyon himself insists he will have no mixed emotions after leading his country to the World Cup final 12 months ago before deciding to step down after voicing concerns at the direction of the national set-up.
'I really don't have any problem at all with it,' he said. 'I'm just glad to be out of it. I still have a lot of passion in wanting to see a successful GB team under the right circumstances. I don't feel that is the case at the moment, which is why I pulled away, but you never know what might happen in the future. I think GB's hopes for how well they do at King's Lynn could hinge on what sort of team the Russians put out. They are quite capable of spoiling the party in lots of ways. The Czechs have one or two riders who can do likewise, but you can't see them being a major threat.
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'The Poles have to start as favourites but in as much as you would say we don't have to be frightened of them it would be a tremendous achievement to beat them on any track with that sort of line up. Good luck to the boys, but if the Russians come with a slightly weakened team I think they have every chance of doing it.'
Lyon memorably helped guide GB straight through to the final after edging an epic Ashes battle against Australia at Saddlebow last year in front of more than 7,000 fans.
'Huge credit must go to Buster (Chapman), Cheryl and Jonathan for putting on such a great event,' he said. 'There was so much hard work done to make it a success in every way. I'm pleased to see them get it back this year and I fully expect it to be an even bigger success on the back of what we did last year. It'll be tough for the Brits, but I know they will be giving it 100%.'
• Tickets are still available for event two of the speedway World Team Cup at King's Lynn on Monday, July 11 featuring the hosts, world champions Poland, Russia and the Czech Republic. Start time 7.30pm. For further information contact 0871 2310841 or visit speedwaygp.com