264 laps in TAURON Speedway Euro Championship 2018 behind us. During upcoming 22 heats, fight for the supremacy in Europe will fight its end. For the next year, one of the rider will be able to call himself the Individual European Champion. The great final at the Śląski Stadium will give us the answer who will it be.
From Gniezno, through Güstrow and Daugavpils, to Chorzów. Four different tracks, four totally dissimilar cities. It was there - in this special for speedway places, top riders of Europe faced each other to find out who will end up as the best one in this year. Fifteen candidates entered the stage, but there can only be one winner.
This year's series of Individual European Championship is special because of many reasons. One of them is an extremely equal line up. It has become a rule in TAURON SEC that matter of the title is settled in the very last heats. In Chorzów, we'll fitness a fight of who will grab a medal and who will secure their spots for upcoming year.
At the top of the table, currently we have Leon Madsen. Dane has had his best season yet in his career. Title of the Individual European Champion would be a perfect summary of this year. Four-point advantage over Jarosław Hampel, who's second is both a large and small. Loss unable to catch up in one heat, but before Daugavpils Madsen had had a three-point loss, but ended this meeting with a four points of advantage. Dane's current form lets people believe that it will be him, who will raise the 17 kg cup, dedicated to the ultimate winner.
Behind Madsen's back, there are many big names. Two titles of Individual Vice-Champion of the World didn't come out of nowhere. Jarosław Hampel had a perfect opening of the series. 17 points gathered in Gniezno let Pole be a leader (even though a slightly worse performance in Güstrow). It all looked like Hampel was about to come back to the right tracks in Daugavpils. Round in Latvia started for him in a great way, but two engine failures turned down his chances for a spot in the final heat. What's more, Hampel lost his advantage over Madsen. In Chorzów, stands' pressure will be huge. Fans who will attend the final round will surely expect Pole to jump on the top of the podium. Hampel needs to catch up, but has to look behind his back as well.
Robert Lambert is third in the overall classification. First round in Gniezno was a big disappointment though. Brit couldn't find the right rhythm and from the first capitol of Poland, left with only six points gathered. In Güstrow and Daugavpils, however, "Ruthless" was ruthless indeed. Big win at tough, technical track in Germany and podium in Latvia made Brit's chances seen even higher than Hampel's, ahead of the final round in Chorzów. British rider doesn't want to put any goals for Saturday's meeting, but everyone realizes the fact that Lambert's triumph wouldn't be any kind of surprise.
RIght behind these three riders, there's Emil Sayfutdinov. After a poor performance in Gniezno, Russian was forced to catch the rest and after the round in Daugavpils, one can say that he got really, really close. Ahead of the round in Chorzów, double European Champion is focused on one thing only - a medal. If he's going to make it come true, he'll become the ultimate leader when it comes to reaching for medals in the European Championship.
Next to these four riders fighting for the top goals, fans will witness some extremely interesting fight to secure spots for the next year's Individual European Championship. Two slots and six candidates - difference in points between them can be reduced in a single heat. So far, list of the riders who are closest to become permanent riders in SEC 2019, include Mikkel Michelsen and Antonio Lindbaeck. Both can fight for the medals and both can get themselves out of the series as well. Vaclav Milik and Kai Huckenbeck are only waiting for any of their failures, to jump on their positions.
Fans will have a huge pack of emotions, witnessed at a spectacular venue. Śląski Stadium is a true cradle of Polish sport. In Chorzów, there have been finals of championship events in many sport disciplines. Historic wins of Polish footballers over USSR or England, gold medal of Individual Speedway World Championship, grabbed right here, by Jerzy Szczakiel, made atmosphere at this stadium truly spectacular. Modernized venue doesn't have a speedway track, so it had to be built. Dozens of people, led by Jacek Gajewski, created this track from scratch and as the Poland vs Rest of The World match proved, it's a track, where riders can actually fight and present some exciting racing. This match, however, was a friendly one, and on Saturday, riders will face each other to win the incredible cup, medals and title of the Individual European Champion.
On Saturday, 15th of September, around 10:30 PM CET, we will watch 352nd lap of TAURON Speedway Euro Championship 2018 and we truly believe that fans who will attend the stands , as well as the ones watching on TV, will witness a great show. We hope that this year's Individual Euro Championship has brought tons of emotions and ultimate answers will be given at the 704th corner of this rivalry.