Will polish rider finally reach for gold in Tauron SEC?

02.07.20
11:32
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All this year's final rounds of the Tauron Speedway Euro Championship will take place in Poland. So far, none of the riders competing in white and red colors, managed to achieve triumph in the final battle of the series. Will the fact that the finals will be hosted only in their country be a suitable motivation?

The last Individual European Champion, representing Poland is Sebastian Ułamek. He achieved the victory in a one-day final, on 25th of September 2010 at the Tarnów track, when he was perfect and scored a maximum of points. Almost 10 years have passed since then, so this year's battle can be an ideal opportunity to overcome the bad luck by Polish riders. In next seasons no one managed to win the gold medal of the Individual European Championships. In the next two years, Tomasz Gapiński and Robert Miśkowiak had to settle for silver medals and Miśkowiak did so in the first year in which the best rider in Europe was selected after four tournaments.

A year later, this series turned into the Speedway Euro Championship and it can be safely said that since then Poles have not done well in this competition. This is evidenced by only two medals won by riders from Poland over the past seven years. Undoubtedly, the closest to the final triumph in the Tauron SEC series was Krzysztof Kasprzak in 2016, when he has lost with the final winner Nicki Pedersen by only two points. What's more, he did not even win the silver medal, because in the additional race on the track in Rybnik he lost to Czech rider, Václav Milík. The second place in the Individual European Championships was taken by Jarosław Hampel in the 2018 season. At that time, despite the fact that before the last final round in Chorzów he had a chance for the final triumph, he lost with Leon Madsen, who at the Silesian Stadium was perfect and finally overtook the Polish representative in the final table by 9 points. Kacper Woryna was really close to the final podium a year ago. However, he was unlucky and in the additional heat, when after an engine failure, he was defeated by Leon Madsen, who won the brown medal.

So what is the situation before this year's Tauron SEC series when it comes to Polish riders? Surely Kacper Woryna would like to rehabilitate himself for last year's failure and jump on the podium. Does he have a chance for the final triumph? Certainly, because last year the difference between the fourth place he took and Mikkel Michelsen who won was only 6 points. It's just two heats, and this year's cycle of Individual European Championships consists of one more round than before. Another advantage of Woryna is the fact that the fourth final round will take place at his home venue in Rybnik and he has been defending the colors of the local ROW team from the beginning of his career.

Bartosz Smektała, U-21 Individual World Champion from 2018 will certainly want to highlight his presence. The youngest rider at the list of regular participants made his debut in the Tauron SEC series a year ago. He can be pleased with his performances, because in the first year of starts in the series he managed to take the place in the top five, which gave him a promotion to this year's competition. Last year he only missed three points to the podium place and if he can improve, he can also mix a lot. He has proven many times that he should not be ruled out in the fight against older and more experienced riders.

The last of the Polish representatives who will appear in this year's Tauron Speedway Euro Championship series is Krzysztof Kasprzak. For this rider it will be a return to the fight for the Individual European Championship after a one year break. After the above mentioned 2016 season, in which he was third, a year later he had ridden a little worse, finally landing the one position lower in the final classification. He wanted to quickly forget about performances in the 2018 season in the Tauron SEC series, because he took 11th place and in each of the four final rounds he finished just in the regular series of the meetings. The end of last season was already good in his performance and he managed to win in the Golden Helmet final on the track in Gdansk. Due to the situation caused by the coronavirus and lack of elimination, he was nominated for this year's Tauron SEC series. He certainly has a chance for the final victory and the additional motivation should be the fact that the Individual European Champion of the 2020 season will have a guaranteed place in next year's Speedway Grand Prix. Kasprzak has repeatedly said that his task is to return to the group of best riders in the world. Will he achieve this by performing at Tauron SEC in 2020? We will soon find out.

Polish fans have been waiting for the Individual European Champion for almost 10 years. On the occasion of the finals, hosted only in this one country, certainly the triumph of one of the riders would be even better. But the others won’t give up so easy and it will be hard to achieve final success. We can be sure of one thing – fans in Poland certainly would like to hear Polish national anthem on the 29th of July 2020 at Torun’s Motoarena, at the final decoration.

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2013-2020 SEC Summary: Denmark

Denmark is the most successful in the history of the Speedway Euro Championship series in 2013-2020. Riders from this country won nine medals and stood on the podium in almost every edition – in seven of them. Danes won three times the Individual European Championship in the SEC series, they won silver medals four times and bronze twice. Four representatives of this country competed for the title of the best rider in Europe in four seasons, there were three of them on the list of regular participants in 2014, 2015 and 2018 and in 2013 it was two names.

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2013-2020 SEC Summary: Poland

The Polish national team from the beginning of the Speedway Euro Championship series, it means from 2013, has always had a large group of regular participants in the stake. Despite such a large presence, it didn’t result in medal achievements, which may be surprising, because riders from this country are always highly rated and members of authorities often repeat that PGE Ekstraliga is "the best league in the world". However, Poles have only won two medals in the SEC cycle so far. The first of them – bronze – was won in 2016 by Krzysztof Kasprzak. Two years later Jaroslaw Hampel took second place and hung a silver medal around his neck. Every year Polish fans could watch three, four or even five (2015) riders with regular numbers from their country in the series.

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Russia is another country, which achieved a victory in the Speedway Euro Championship. Riders from this country in eight years of competition in the series won two gold medals, to which they added two silver and two bronze. In 2013-2020 Russian representatives have always participated in the fight for the title of European champion. Two Russians defended their country's colors in the SEC cycle for six seasons and three time it was three riders. They won each of their medals in a different year, which meant that they weren’t on the final podium in only two seasons.

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A representative of Latvia appeared quite often among the regular participants in the Speedway Euro Championship series in 2013-2020. This situation took place for five seasons – two riders from this country fought for the title of the best in Europe once and four times it was one rider. Despite the fact that Latvians have never been favorites in this series, one of them managed to win the Individual European Championship. Of course it was Andzejs Lebedevs, who defended his country's colors in the SEC cycle five times, winning the gold medal in the 2017 season.

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