Scott: We can be world beaters
SCOTT Nicholls leads Team GB in tonight's Event One of the World Cup knowing his country will never have a better chance of glory.The Ipswich Witches captain is also captain of Team GB.
SCOTT Nicholls leads Team GB in tonight's Event One of the World Cup knowing his country will never have a better chance of glory.
The Ipswich Witches captain is also captain of Team GB. And there would be nothing sweeter for him than to be holding aloft the World Cup trophy on Saturday night, although his side must first negotiate tonight's clash or face Thursday's Race-Off.
Team GB race against Poland, Sweden and Hungary, with only the winning side automatically going through to the final. While Hungary can be written off, both Sweden and Poland will offer Team GB fierce opposition.
“It is going to be tough, we all know that. But we are riding at Eastbourne and we have David Norris in the side who is an Eastbourne rider and is riding very well at the moment,” said Nicholls.
“We are capable of going straight to the final and that is what we must aim to do. Over the past few seasons we have been in the Race-Off. And although we got through last year in Denmark, it has been a different story on other occasions.
“We are on home soil and we don't want to have to go to the Race-Off meeting this time.”
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Team GB have suffered with injuries in previous years, but this time are at full strength.
“This is the best chance we have had for many years,” added Nicholls.
“As a team we like Eastbourne and the final is at Poole, which again is a track most of us like.
“I might be the captain, but everyone has a captain's role to play, although obviously it is a position I feel very privileged to have.”
Sweden won the trophy in sensational style last year, beating Australia in the final, despite being without then world champion, Tony Rickardsson.
Team GB last won the title under the guise of England back in 1989 but have since been in the international wilderness.
Nicholls is certainly right that they look as strong as they have ever done with plenty of experience, as well as ability, in their line-up.
“I think it will be a very close competition this year and many teams will provide us with a threat,” said Nicholls.
“Sweden are the champions and along with Australia have all the experience of winning the title. While Denmark have plenty of young riders.”
The World Cup is being shown live on Sky Sports throughout the week, beginning tonight from Eastbourne as Team GB race Poland, Sweden and Hungary. Tomorrow it is the turn of Australia v Czech Republic v Denmark v Italy. And on Thursday it is the race-off Consolation Final, before the final itself at Poole on Saturday.