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Kelvin expects Woffinden to win British Final and book a date in Cardiff

Kelvin Tatum Posted 26th July 2012 view comments

The British Championship Final gives fans the opportunity to see the best riders from these shores square off - and one lucky competitor the chance to become a Grand Prix racer for a night.

Monday's winner (or runner-up if regular Grand Prix performer Chris Harris takes the title) will not only claim the trophy and the prestige, but they will also secure the wildcard spot in the British Grand Prix in Cardiff on August 25.

Advantage: the British Final will be held at Woffinden's home track

Advantage: the British Final will be held at Woffinden's home track

The line-up for the British Final was set to be decided during semi-finals in Sheffield and Rye House in early July, but with those meets abandoned due to waterlogged tracks, the 16-man party has been selected from the averages list.

I think that's probably fair; I know there is red-hot sunshine now but there wasn't really enough time to reschedule the semi-finals, while the final field looks extremely strong and I cannot think of any shock omissions.

Woffinden was Britain's best rider in the World Cup race-off and is ready to take that next step.

Kelvin Tatum
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Defending champion Scott Nicholls is struggling a little bit, though; he wasn't up to his usual standards whilst riding for Britain in the recent World Cup which suggests he is not quite over his collarbone injury.

But you cannot discount the Coventry rider because he has a fabulous record at this event, winning it in six of the last 10 years.

He is certainly a very proud rider when it comes to the National Championships so I am sure he will be very competitive on Sunday.

Harris, too, is expected to be in contention and I don't anticipate the fact he is partaking in the Croatia Grand Prix on Saturday being an issue. He has been travelling back and forth for Grand Prix and Elite League meetings for too long now to be affected.

Refocused

My tip for the title, however, is Tai Woffinden, who will be competing on his home track at Monmore Green in Wolverhampton.

The 21-year-old is very competent around the circuit and seems fully refocused now after a period in which he lost his way a little bit, plus, his recent scaphoid injury does not appear to be causing him much jip.

As for some of the other competitors, Eddie Kennett rides small tracks very well so he could be a contender, while Daniel King made Britain's World Cup squad and, on his night, can be very difficult to beat.

Lewis Bridger and Josh Auty are improving all the time and could be dangerous, but they will probably have to be at the peak of their powers to stop Harris, Nicholls and Woffinden.

Whoever earns that wildcard place for the British Grand Prix will get the opportunity to ride in front of a huge crowd, at a wonderful venue, and mix it with some of the best speedway stars around, such as Greg Hancock, Jason Crump and Chris Holder.

That is something Woffinden would relish and I think he is ready for it; he was Britain's best rider in the World Cup race-off in Malilla, Sweden and is ready to take that next step.

I predict he will grab the British title and a ticket to Cardiff on Monday night.

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