16-Lap field looks a good one

THE curtain comes down tonight on the 2009 speedway season at Foxhall Stadium, with the ever-popular 16-Lap Classic.

Curtain comes down and Nicholls is the favourite

SPEEDWAY

16-Lap Classic, Ipswich

Foxhall Stadium, tonight 7.30pm


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By Mike Bacon

THE curtain comes down tonight on the 2009 speedway season at Foxhall Stadium, with the ever-popular 16-Lap Classic.

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The event, in its 28th staging, is one of the longest-running, both in terms of years and laps, in the speedway calendar. And there is little doubt eight riders hurtling towards the first bend in the 16 lap final, as the night reaches its finale, is one of the most dramatic sights in world speedway.

There have been many big name winners in the past, but not so many top name stars quite fancy the challenge of the toughest speedway race in the world these days.

One man who never dodged the challenge however, is Chris Louis.

The current Witches rider/manager, who has sat out the whole of 2009 as a rider, has won the 16-Lapper on numerous occasions.

He knows what it takes to come top of the pile at the end of a marathon night.

“You really do need to have the right attitude throughout the meeting,” Louis said.

“It's no good just worrying about the final, there are heats that need to be won first.

“Physically it is very demanding and you find out how tough the sport can be. Even the most experienced speedway rider is only used to four laps, so six, seven, eight then 16, is so demanding.

“But it's a great spectacle, the only marathon race in the world and at Ipswich we are very proud of the meeting.”

Tonight's field looks a good one, and Louis knows it will be tough to pick a winner.

“We've basically picked a field that goes well round Ipswich,” he added.

We have six strong home riders and plenty of others who have done well here in the past.”

Scott Nicholls will start as pre-meeting favourite after a good showing at Wolverhampton on Monday night, where he came third in the handicap meeting, the Olympique.

Adam Shields, Troy Batchelor and Rory Schlein are three Aussies who love the 16-Lapper, while Robert Miskowiak is currently the form home man.

Danny King is determined to give his shoulder a chance in one of his last meetings

Full line up: 1. Rory Schlein (Coventry), 2. Olly Allen (Coventry), 3. Scott Nicholls (Ipswich), 4. Danny King (Ipswich), 5. Robert Miskowiak (Ipswich), 6. Dawid Stachyra (Ipswich), 7. Troy Batchelor (Ipswich), 8. Carl Wilkinson (Ipswich), 9. Adam Shields (Lakeside), 10. Chris Schramm (Kings Lynn), 11. Linus Sundstrom (Rye House) and 12. Stuart Robson (Lakeside).

Mike.bacon@archant.co.uk

(N) JOIN Mike for the last webchat of the season on Friday. From 12 noon-1pm, you can ask chat live to Mike. Or leave a question for him to answer. For all you speedway news throughout the winter, keep in touch on www.lovespeedway24.co.uk

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