Thousands of kilometers, 780 laps, 195 heats, 177 days, 9 rounds in 9 countries - that's what you need to meet the best European rider of 2017. On 14th of October, around 10 PM, we will get the answer who will become the Euro speedway king.
From Hungarian Nagyhalasz, through Mureck, Terenzano, French Lamothe-Landerron to Croatian Gorican - 72 riders were fighting for 7 passes promoting to the finals. After SEC Challenge, 15 were left - 5 from last year, 7 from qualifications and 3 "wild cards".
Fight started in Toruń, where fans witnessed everything speedway can give. From huge crashes to spectacular actions on track. Round in Toruń also gave emotions to the next rounds, thanks to equal scores of top riders. Among the permanent participants, it was Vaclav Milik getting 12 points and Andzjes Lebedevs - current leader had only a 1 point less. Dane, Leon Madsen could not be satisfied with his performance. 5th rider of 2016 was ranked in far, 13th position, which put him in a tough situation right at the start. Debutants performed well - Mateusz Szczepaniak proved that his advance was not a matter of luck and his 9 points let him think about the next rounds with optimism. It was even better when it comes to Andreas Jonsson. Swede, who's a part of SEC thanks to the wild card, presented some effective tackles and gathered 9 points.
Second round of this year's series was taken in Güstrow. German track always brings tons of emotions and fans witness many actions on distance. It was no different this time as well. In Germany, Milik appeared as the leader, however after 22 heats his position changed. Artem Laguta, who had some bad luck in Toruń, performed great this time. Russian got 15 points and defeated Andzejs Lebedevs in the final heat. Thanks to another good round, Latvian became the sole leader of the series. Bronze medalist of SEC 2016, Krzysztof Kasprzak joined the top as well. "KK" was getting point by point and with 11 total, he was ranked in 3rd position. Andreas Jonsson was classified a bit further. Swede was 9th and it all seemed like he was not about to be back in top. German round was another solid race by Mateusz Szczepaniak, who got through to the race-off heat, and surprisingly - Andrey Kudriashov, who collected 9 points.
Round in Hallstavik was another huge dose of emotions. Rain caused that some heavy equipment started to step in and it changed the surface riders met on the practice session. In Sweden, it was local hero - Andreas Jonsson having a blast. It looked like after Güstrow, he would not join the game for medals, but thanks to his 14 points and slightly worse performance by Artem Laguta, "AJ" advanced to the third position in the overall classification. Despite Milik's win, classification's top didn't change. Both Czech and Latvian got 13 points each and difference between them is only 4 points. Hallstavik was alo a great round for other Swedes. Jacob Thorssel, starting with a wild card, even got through to the final and Pontus Aspgren, replacing injured Miedziński, also presented some good racing.
This time, Mateusz Szczepanik didn't have such a good performance as before and his chances for TOP 5 have been lowered.
Final round, which will take place in Lublin, is going to be exciting from many reasons - fight for gold, fight for bronze and Polish battle for the 5th position are these elements many fans are thrilled with.
However, if we get a deeper look at the general classification, we can notice that 9 riders are still fighting for "something". Even 9th - Kacper Gomólski, in case of his great racing and rivals' mistakes, still have theoretical chances to secure the spot for next year's SEC. Andzejs Lebedevs and Vaclav Milik are ready to step in for gold. Latvian has a 4-point advantage over Czech rider and 6 over Andreas Jonsson and Artem Laguta. On the other hand, it can all settle in a way that Russian or Swede can actually become new Individual European Champion. Krzysztof Kasprzak, bronze medalist of SEC 2016 is six points down to podium. Fans, who will appear on the stadium on 14th of October, 6.30 PM CET will surely witness many surprising settlements and we all hope they will be made at the last meters of this 780th laps of this series.
Tickets for SEC Grand Final in Lublin (October 14th) are still on sale. You can buy it on: bit.ly/SEC_final_Lublin_tickets and in Empik’s, Media Markt’s and STS salons. Eurosport will air live broadcast. All tickets bought for first term remain valid.
Normal – 55 PLN
Reduceed – 40 PLN
Race Programme – 10 PLN
1. Krzysztof Kasprzak #507 (Poland)
2. Mateusz Szczepaniak #58 (Poland)
3. Martin Smolinski #84 (Germany)
4. Kenneth Bjerre #91 (Denmark)
5. AndzejsLebedevs #129 (Latvia)
6. AndreyKudryashov #9 (Russia)
7. Vaclav Milik #13 (Czechia)
8. Artem Laguta #2 (Russia)
9. Przemysław Pawlicki #59 (Poland)
10. JuricaPavlić #19 (Croatia)
11. Daniel Jeleniewski #16 (Poland)
12. Michael Jepsen Jensen #52 (Denmark)
13. Leon Madsen #66 (Denmark)
14. Andreas Jonsson #100 (Sweden)
15. Mikkel Bech #177 (Denmark)
16. Kacper Gomólski #44 (Poland)
17. Oskar Bober (Poland)
18. Paweł Miesiąc (Poland)