Vaculik - The first winner

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Thanks to his heroic performance during the final round in Rzeszów, Martin Vaculik became the first winner of the Speedway Euro Championship series. The Slovak entered in the competition as a candidate to win a medal, but only few expected him to stand on the highest step of the podium of the Individual European Championships.


The 2013 was the first year in which the struggle for the title of the best speedway rider of the Old Continent was held in the new formula. One-day tournament was replaced by four-round cycle, in which the riders competed in Gdańsk, Togliatti, Gorican and Rzeszów. The new format attracted many top riders including Individual World Champions: Nicki Pedersen, Tai Woffinden and Tomasz Gollob.

The first two rounds were won by Emil Sayfutdinov, but the Russian couldn't compete in the rest of the series due to an injury. The above listed riders were playing main roles, joined by Grigorij Laguta and Martin Vaculik, who stood on the podium in Togliatti and Gorican.
Before the final round, Nicki Pedersen was on the lead in the interim classification of the series. The Dane had only one point more than Tai Woffinden, but the Briton as well as Tomasz Gollob, who was third in the standings, withdrew from the meeting due to injuries. This made Pedersen the main candidate for the gold medal. The second in the table Vaculik lost five points to the Dane.

Fans gathered at the Stal Rzeszów stadium witnessed a domination of the Slovak. Only Grigorij Laguta could keep pace with him. Pedersen was scoring his points, but he made a mistake. In heat 17 the main candidates to the title were fighting in a direct duel. Pedersen and Lindgren made contact on the first corner and the Dane was excluded from the rerun. In the another attempt Vaculik won the race and this led to a situation where both riders had the same number of points in the intermediate classification.

Vaculik advanced directly to the final, while Pedersen competed in an extra heat against Grzegorz Zengota, Andrey Karpov and Hans Andersen. Unexpectedly, the three-time Individual World Champion finished third and did not qualify for the final. Vaculik only needed one point to become the first gold medalist of the Speedway Euro Championship series. In the rerun of the final race, the Slovak was in the lead from start to finish and sealed his success by finishing the meeting with a maximum of points.


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