GREAT Britain boss Alun Rossiter has backed Simon Stead to produce the goods for his country after picking the former Robin ahead of Craig Cook for his World Cup team.
Rossiter named his quartet for Event One at King’s Lynn on July 26 yesterday, with world champion Tai Woffinden and Grand Prix regular Chris Harris joined by Stead and Newcastle’s Danny King.
With Cook expected by many to make the side, but now having to settle for a track reserve role, Rossiter admitted Stead’s form ensured he forced his way into the plans and is confident the Leicester rider can perform on the big stage.
“I saw Simon at the British Final and I’ve been watching his league scores recently, and Leicester is a bit of a gaters’ track and he’s been scoring double figures there nearly every week,” he said.
“I’ve been impressed with his riding because it isn’t in any way erratic and he seems smooth, controlled and he isn’t overlocking or anything like that.
“He’s a well-liked guy and everyone seems to like Simon so he should be good to have around.
“To be fair to Craig (Cook) he will be the first to admit he isn’t in the best of form and he’s been very honest and very upfront about everything. If he was on form he would have been in but he knows his Elite form has been a little sketchy.”
Rossiter admitted Woffinden and Harris’ were always going to be in his team and also backed King to perform, even though he is now without a club following the closure of Birmingham yesterday.
“I was obviously going to pick Tai but some people have been questioning Bomber’s (Harris) credentials, but you can’t question him for how he rides for Britain.
“You can’t beat experience and I’m confident he’ll do well for his country again.
“Danny has experience and is a very good rider, he can score well at King’s Lynn and I have great faith in his ability.
“He’s had a tough time at Birmingham with everything that’s been going on there but now he’s riding for Premier League Newcastle he’s getting more meetings.”
Team GB begin their World Cup campaign against Australia, USA and Italy at King’s Lynn, with the winners making the final and the teams in second and third dropping into the race-off.