On a cool but sunny day with a large number of spectators, Team USA secured the overall win to retain the red plates with consistent performances of the 3 riders – Thomas Brown, Jeffrey Rastrelli and Chad Wienen – on 8 points with two first places for Wienen, two second places for Rastrelli and a second place for Brown in the 3 races. But they had to fight hard on the demanding track of Slagelse which proved difficult to overtake on.
Team Ireland finished second on 39 points with the 3 riders, Justin Reid, Mark McLernon and Leon Rogers with some consistent high placings.
Team Netherlands was third on 44 points with the team of Richardo Phoelich, Joe Maessen and Mike Van Grinsven but Van Grinsven had bad luck when leading the final race and suffering a machine failure.
Team Norway was 4th just one point behind the Netherlands. Although on paper this appears an easy win for the USA, this was far from what happened during the racing. The USA riders had to fight very hard in the 3 races against some strong opposition from many riders including the Argentine rider, Jose Guerra, who won the first race, Harry Walker of Team GB with a good 3rd place in race 2 and German rider Manfred Zienecker with a 3rd in race 2 and also Roman Gwiazda of Poland with a 3rd place in race 1.
It was the absolute consistency and team riding that won the gold medals for Team USA which was thoroughly deserved. It was a remarkable team effort and an example to other Nations on how to compete as a team.
After the 3 races Team Netherlands took a very deserved victory and gold medals with the team of Etienne Bax/Kaspars Stupelis, Daniel Williamsen/Robbie Bax and Koen Hermans/Nicolas Musset on 7 points with very consistent performances from Bax with a win and a second place, a second place from Willemsen and two wins in the 2nd and 3rd races for Hermans.
Team France was second on 28 points and team Latvia third on 33 points and team Great Britain fourth on 43 points with the team leader Brett Wilkinson/Dan Chamberlain getting a second place in race 2 and a fourth place in race 1.
All 3 races were tough, exciting and hard fought for all riders/passengers but in the end it was the sheer consistency, similar to Team USA in the Quads, of the Dutch riders that won the day.
Next year’s event will be at Schwedt in Germany on the 5/6 October and team USA have promised to be there to defend the title and try to secure 3 consecutive wins but will prove more difficult for the Americans because other riders from other Nations are improving and learning from the American trio.
Full results on FIM Europe website: http://www.fim-europe.eu/events/637