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Andersen steps up trophy hunt
6:00am Saturday 20th October 2012 in Sport
SWINDON skipper Hans Andersen will be looking to add to his medal collection when he takes to the track for the Elite League Riders’ Championship at Blunsdon this evening.
Andersen, along with Troy Batchelor and late call-up Peter Kildemand, will represent the Robins against the best the Elite League has to offer, including world champion Chris Holder and the likes of Darcy Ward, Freddie Lindgren and Niels-Kristian Iversen.
Despite winning league titles across Europe as well as Grand Prix and World Cup crowns, Andersen has yet to win the ELRC, and would love to do so in front of his home fans tonight.
“It is a meeting I haven’t won before so it would be good to add it to my collection of trophies, so I will be taking it seriously,” he said.
“You have the best two riders from each team there, so hopefully the weather will allow a good meeting.
“It is good to have home track advantage of course, but to win this meeting on any track would be good.
“Troy and Peter are riding too, so there are plenty of Swindon riders in the meeting which will be good for everyone.
Andersen was overlooked for a Grand Prix wildcard this week having finished 10th in the standings, but is keen to bounce back strongly.
“The way my season went meant I was probably not in the equation to get one anyway,” he said.
“I want the season to start over really because in the last third I have been on good form everywhere, so it would be good for the season to start now.
“I knew it would be difficult, but I am back at my level and getting better and better.”
The wildcards eventually went to Jarek Hampel, Tai Woffinden, Martin Vaculik and Andersen’s grand final rival Darcy Ward, and Robins skipper believes Poole’s Aussie sensation may take a little time to adapt.
“Darcy is going to find it difficult but he has shown before he can compete with the best, and he has been on the rostrum before in the GP, so he knows what he is doing.”
- TIME was that Peter Kildemand would have been happy with eight points from the reserve berth in an Elite League meeting.
But now the in-form Dane is hoping to secure at least that total in one of the most prestigious meetings in the British calendar.
The Elite League Riders Championship comes to Swindon’s Abbey Stadium tonight and Kildemand has been handed a late call-up to ride alongside his teammates Hans Andersen and Troy Batchelor.
And while Andersen and Batchelor will be fancied by most fans at the Abbey Stadium to be the best-performing Robins, Kildemand wants to make his mark on the competition as well.
Few would bet against the ex-Coventry man pulling off a shock or two given that he was doing that from the reserve in the early stages of 2012.
Despite a shift into the main body of the Swindon side, Kildemand adapted well after an initially difficult period and now is desperate to grab the chance to impress in the ELRC tonight.
“I found out on Thursday and it was good to get the news,” he said.
“It’s my first full year in the Elite League and to do the Elite League Riders’ Championship is a great opportunity.
“I’m not really looking to win it, but I’m hoping to go out and beat some of the other top riders.
“Eight points I think would be alright for me.
“Riders like Darcy Ward and Chris Holder will be the ones to beat and some of the others are going quite well.
“But I’m full of confidence at the moment and I’m looking forward to it and we will see how it goes.”