The World Cup, or the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup to give it its full title, rarely disappoints and this season, so far of course has been no exception.
A week long festival of televised speedway is always something to marvel at but when you are watching some of the world’s best riders going at it for their country it just adds that extra spice.
Of course on Saturday at Kings Lynn we saw Team GB take a famous victory over an Australian side that were missing Jason Doyle, still suffering the after effects of a broken foot. It would be difficult to argue the fact that has Doyle been fit enough to take his place then the outcome of the meeting may well have been different.
While I would tend to agree with those sentiments, there can be little argument that Robert Lambert, Stevie Worrall, Chris Harris and Craig Cook did a marvellous job and they took care of the teams that were put out in front of them to deservedly storm straight into the final this coming Saturday.
While Australia will stand a fair old chance of qualifying for the final via the Race off on Thursday especially if Jason Doyle is fit enough to take his place, Team GB winning event one probably wasn’t the biggest shock that night.
Team USA clinched the vital third place on the night which sees them through to the Race off and they did it without current World Champion Greg Hancock. While Hancock has been criticised for stepping down from the side, I fully understand his decision to let the younger generation gain experience on the big stage.
And those young guns grabbed the opportunity with both hands, seeing off the challenge of an experienced Czech Republic side, who were, in truth very disappointing. While it would be a massive shock to see USA progress to the final, the fact that they made it this far will be like a victory to them.
A massive learning curve for these young guys and it gains them perhaps the experience of a lifetime to race against the best the world has to offer on some of the best racetracks in the world.
That was event one...event two turned out to be even more explosive, with some fantastic racing on show between all four sides and in truth, none of them deserved to bow out of the competition.
Shockingly though it was Denmark who were the side to bow out and find themselves dumped out of the tournament before the Race Off stage. Not many people would have bet on that.
What was expected to be a straight shootout between Sweden and Denmark for the top spot proved to be anything but, as Russia and Latvia put up excellent performances to shock the experts and upset the form book.
While the Swedes eventually emerged victorious from this bruising encounter, they were made to work awfully hard by the Russians who were inspired by Emil Sayfutdinov and Grigori Laguta, with the latter pulling moves that had to be seen to be believed at times.
The highlight of the night for me though was the Latvians, they kept plugging away and never gave up and they forced themselves into a runoff for third place on the night with the spectacular Andžejs Lebedevs taking a famous victory over Neils Kristian Iversen.
The celebrations that followed would have you believe that they had won the whole competition, but much like the Americans, when nobody gave you a chance and you make it to the race off, especially at the expense of a famous speedway nation like Denmark, that in itself is a victory.
So with Australia, Russia, Latvia and The USA in the Race Off, who is going to claim the last spot in the final?
Well, that is anyone’s guess! While Australia will likely start as favourites, I have a sneaky feeling that Russia may just prevail and progress to the final, but as we found out last night, the Latvian side are not to be taken lightly.
As for The USA, I just feel that they will find the going just a little too tough but that is taking nothing away from the fact that they have achieved more than they could have imagined by making it this far.
Whoever does join Team GB, Sweden and host nation Poland in the final will have been in a fight to be there and will have fully deserved their place in the final. While it is difficult to see past a Polish victory in the final itself, this tournament has proved that the only thing that’s for sure is that nothing’s for sure!
I gotta tell you Nige, I can’t wait to see what the World Cup throws up next!
Of course if you wish to agree, or disagree with the Mythman, have an idea for a feature, or you simply want to chew the fat over all things speedway, you can email me Mythman666@hotmail.com. If your compliments, or indeed, gripes can be contained to just 120 characters, you can send me a tweet @Mythman666.
Until next time...and there will be a next time.
Right I'll hae'tae gan