EUROPEAN PREVIEW: European Pairs Final / SGP Wroclaw
Great Britain are involved in the European Pairs Final which takes place at Danish venue Slangerup on Saturday.
Image courtesy of Steve Hone Photography
After winning their semi-final in France, Chris Harris, Tom Brennan and Leon Flint represent GB with Adam Ellis missing out through injury after his impressive maximum points haul. Great Britain will face opposition from the Czech Republic, Sweden, Denmark, Latvia, Poland and Norway.
The host nation include Rasmus Jensen and Michael Jepsen Jensen, whilst the senior Polish duo are Grzegorz Zengota and Norbert Krakowiak. Vaclav Milik and Jan Kvech line up for the Czechs, and Latvia include Lebedevs.
Dan Bewley and Tai Woffinden are on home territory this weekend as the seventh round of the Grand Prix series takes place in Wroclaw.
Bewley’s brilliant victory at Cardiff a fortnight ago has vaulted him into overall medal contention, as he goes into the meeting just one point behind third placed Patryk Dudek, and ten adrift of Leon Madsen.
Woffinden is now outside the top six after his early withdrawal at Cardiff, with his current 54-point total being six short of another Wroclaw rider in Saturday’s field, Maciej Janowski.
The third British rider, Robert Lambert, is 11th in the standings with 52 points, and a strong display at Wroclaw could see him gain several places.
Wroclaw has previously staged 14 GPs dating back to the first-ever meeting in the series back in 1995, which was won by Tomasz Gollob. It dropped off the calendar after 2007 but returned in 2019 after the stadium was refurbished.
Series leader Bartosz Zmarzlik will have plenty of confidence heading into the meeting as he has won three of the five GPs at Wroclaw in recent years, triumphing in 2019 and then winning both events in the double-header of 2021. The 2020 event was also a double-header, with wins in those meetings going to Artem Laguta and Janowski.
Martin Vaculik returns to action after missing the British GP due to a broken shoulder blade, but Anders Thomsen is out after his crash at Glasgow last weekend, so reserve Andzejs Lebedevs steps in once more.
All three Ekstraliga quarter-finals will be completed on Sunday, and unusually all three are taking place simultaneously.
Lublin will expect to go through as they lead Leszno 49-41 from the away leg last week, whilst Torun featuring Lambert hold a narrow 46-44 win over Gorzow, but have to travel away from home for the return fixture.
However, their previous visit to the Edward Jancarz stadium was a close one as they only went down 43-47, and Lambert scored 11+1 in that meeting.
Wroclaw face probably the toughest test where Bewley and Woffinden will both look for big performances at Czestochowa, with their side 44-46 down from their home leg last week.
When the meeting took place in the regular league stage back in early May, Czestochowa were 52-38 winners on a day when Bewley and Janowski scored all but 12 of Wroclaw’s points, and Woffinden had a disastrous day scoring 2+1.
However, one of the aggregate losers will still qualify for the semi-finals when the mini-league table has been compiled.
The regular phase of the Swedish Bauhaus-Ligan was completed this week, with Bewley and Lambert already safely confirmed as league leaders with Smederna, who had no meeting.
The most significant result was a 60-29 win for Dackarna over Piraterna moving them above their opponents into the sixth and final play-off place.
Elsewhere, fifth-placed Rospiggarna defeated Lejonen 48-42, and bottom side Masarna finished with a win as they beat Indianerna 52-38.
The quarter-finals will feature Indianerna v Dackarna and Rospiggarna v Vastervik, with Smederna and Lejonen left to await their semi-final opponents.
The last regular meetings of the Under-24 Ekstraliga meetings in Poland resulted in a 46-44 away win for Wroclaw at Torun, which mathematically ensured third place in the table. Jack Smith scored 5+1 for the visitors.
Elsewhere, Ostrow secured top spot ahead of the Grand Final against Leszno, thanks to a 31-17 win in a weather-curtailed fixture at Grudziadz.