WOLVERHAMPTON’S Fredrik Lindgren confirmed his status as the Elite League’s best rider with an excellent win in the Elite Open Riders Championship.
The Swedish star finished top of the Elite League averages for the second year running and he showed why with six classy rides at the Showground.
Readypower Panthers number one Kenneth Bjerre had to settle for the bronze medal while skippe Niels-Kristian Iversen was robbed of a semi final place by a mechanical problem on the line in his fifth race.
Despite some high-profile withdrawals, 11 of the 16 riders on show were former or current Grand Prix riders and three riders had won a Grand Prix this year.
The meeting started slowly but improved massively after the early stages, with every rider dropping at least two points and no rider standing out above the rest.
As expected, Chris Harris was in scintillating form and it was he who stood at the top of the tree after the 20 qualifying races with 13 points. He was joined by Lindgren, who had amassed 11 points to join his GP colleague in the final.
The semi-final places were hotly contested, with Kauko Nieminen, Simon Stead, Niels-Kristian Iversen and Chris Holder all finishing on eight points and Holder getting the nod by virtue of a superior number of race wins. He joined Ipswich number one Scott Nicholls, in-form Bjarne Pedersen and home favourite Kenneth Bjerre in the semi-final and that race proved to be arguably the best of the night.
All four riders were wheel-to-wheel for two laps before the Poole pairing of Holder and Pedersen hit the front, before Bjerre snuck up the inside on turn two to take the lead. He was re-passed by Pedersen on turn four before battling to hold off a strong challenge from Holder, with Bjerre just getting the call on the line.
Interestingly, the four riders in the final each represented a team that was in the play-offs, but this time it was Wolverhampton who came out on top. The final proved to be more straightforward than the semi, with Lindgren making a fantastic start and riding a superb four laps to hold off the lightning quick Harris. The battle of the Danes was won by Bjerre, who managed to hold off Pedersen for the third and final rostrum place.