Oster­gaard not given a chance to de­fend his ti­tle

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sport - By Mark Plum­mer SPEEDWAY COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Ulrich Oster­gaard is said to be ‘gut­ted’ that he won’t have the chance to de­fend his Pre­mier League Riders’ Cham­pi­onship ti­tle. The Pan­thers cap­tain en­joyed one of the great­est days of his long ca­reer when pow­er­ing to vic­tory in the pres­ti­gious an­nual event last sea­son.

But he has not been in­clud­ing in the line-up for the 2016 stag­ing at the same Owler­ton Sta­dium venue in Sh­effield next month.

The meet­ing fea­tures the top rider from each of the 13 Pre­mier League clubs - that’s Craig Cook in Pan­thers’ case - plus three riders with the high­est av­er­ages who have not al­ready been in­cluded.

But there is no guar­an­teed place for the reign­ing cham­pion and Pan­thers pro­moter Ged Rath­bone be­lieves that should change.

He said: “Ulrich is ab­so­lutely gut­ted that he is not in the PLRC this year.

“The suc­cess last year meant so much to him, and to all of us con­nected with Peter­bor­ough Speedway.

“The fact that the reign­ing cham­pion does not au­to­mat­i­cally feature in the fol­low­ing year’s event needs to be looked at.

“It won’t do any good for Ulrich this year, but it is cer­tainly some­thing I’ll be­tak­ing up with the Bri­tish Speedway Pro­mot­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (BSPA) for the fu­ture.”

But Rath­bone is hope­ful the in­di­vid­ual tro­phy will re­main in Pan­thers’ pos­ses­sion cour­tesy of Cook.

The World Cup sil­ver medal list is cer­tain to be among the favourites for suc­cess at Sh­effield on Septem­ber 11.

Cook is a pre­vi­ous win­ner of the PLRC hav­ing tri­umphed back in 2012 and Rath­bone added: “Craig is def­i­nitely the rider ev­ery­one will have to beat in my opin­ion and hope­fully he can en­sure the tro­phy stays at Peter­bor­ough for an­other year.”

2015 Pre­mier League Riders Cham­pi­onship win­ner Ulrich Oster­gaard in ac­tion against Ed­in­burgh on Sun­day.

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