Great Britain’s speedway team went agonisingly close to striking gold in the inaugural Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Final in Poland.
They had to settle for silver in a dramatic last gasp final shootout with Russia – despite finishing the tournament as top scorers!
Scunthorpe-born double world individual champion Tai Woffinden inspired the side straight through to the one-off final with a stunning display, winning 12 of his 13 outings over the two nights in Wroclaw.
But he received handy support from King’s Lynn’s Robert Lambert, the British Under 21 Champion.
Woffinden won the deciding heat but youngster Lambert couldn’t find a way past former Coventry man Emil Sayfutdinov.
And in knockout racing, with the emphasis on teamwork, when a nation finished second and third it means they win the race 3+1 v 3.
Top man Woffinden, who notched a staggering 38 out of a possible 39 points in the two-day final, was pleased to be back in GB colours after ending his self imposed exile.
He said: “It’s disappointing to miss out at the end but that’s the way the competition works and we have to settle for silver.
“But this is the first stage of a five-year plan for GB and whilst Rob Painter (team supremo) is making all the right noises I’ll be alongside him.
“I want to say I’m proud of young Robert, he did a great job throughout the tournament and also a special mention to Craig Cook who travelled with us and was a big member for us as part of the team.
“It was good to be back racing for my country on a team basis.”
Cook and Lambert will compete in the British Final at Belle Vue on Monday with Woffinden sitting it out.
“Good luck to the boys in the British Final,” he said. “It’s been a good week and I’ll be looking for the result.”
PICTURED: Tai Woffinden (white helmet) and Robert Lambert (Yellow) team riding to success over Australia. Picture: Rafal Wlosek.