King’s Lynn Stars’ top gun Niels-Kristian Iversen going for Speedway World Cup gold again
- Credit: IAN BURT
King's Lynn's number one Niels-Kristian Iversen insists nothing less than gold will do for Denmark at this evening's World Cup final, writes Gavin Caney.
The Stars' top gun will captain his country's four-man team as they look to defend the Ove Fundin Trophy on home shale in Vojens – the same track which staged Thursday's race-off. Iversen is already a three-time winner of the prestigious competition and is desperate to be standing at the top of the podium once the action between the Danes, Poland, Australia and Sweden has finished.
The 32-year-old said: 'Second places don't really count in my book. I want to win gold. That's why I'm here and that's what I'm going for. We've had a good three years – a couple of golds and a silver. Hopefully we can continue that.
'There is always added pressure; it doesn't matter if you're at home or away. If we're at home, we want to win it. If we're away, we still want to win it. We're defending champions and there should be added pressure from us being defending champions. It suits me okay. I'll do what I can to get the points and I'm sure everyone else will do the same.
'Racing at this level is not new to our team – we're used to all this. We have a good handful of riders who can do it on the day. Most of them have experience now. It will be handy to have a bit of experience when we get going, but we have to be up for it if we want to win again.'
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Denmark hope to become the first home winners of the Monster Energy-backed week-long competition since Poland – the side they pipped last year when Iversen breathtakingly passed Janusz Kolodziej at the death – in 2011.
The Stars' ace will be joined by Lynn team-mate Kenneth Bjerre, who tasted success in 2008, although team boss Anders Secher still has time to change his line-up.
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The pair will be the only Lynn riders in the showcase event after Great Britain failed to progress through Thursday's make-or-break race-off. Robert Lambert and GB finished second, behind Poland, and saw their dreams of reaching the battle for medals ended for another year.
Sweden and Australia, at Lynn, won their respective 'semi-finals' to progress to tonight's showdown.