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TRACKSIDE: Resting up ahead of a final push
6:00pm Friday 18th July 2008 in Track Side
WITH the World Cup holding centre stage this week, all the Robins riders except skipper Leigh Adams have had the chance to recover from recent knocks before the final third of the campaign.
Six of our riders are expected to be fit for Monday's televised meeting at Ipswich, with only the unfortunate Seb Alden, whose season ended when he clashed with Belle Vue's Charlie Gjedde last week, missing.
Manuel Hauzinger has recovered from his spill in the same meeting, and we will also be boosted by the return of long-term injury victim Troy Batchelor.
He looks set for a key role in the remainder of the season.
The World Cup itself has proved miserable viewing for British fans, with the team failing to qualify for tonight's final in Denmark.
On Monday we limped home in third place at Coventry, with just a single race win in 25 heats, as the Danes emerged easy winners.
That led us to the "last-chance saloon" of Thursday race-off, where we were duly eliminated by Sweden and Poland, albeit after an improved performance.
Australia complete the final line-up, with many Swindon fans hoping that Leigh Adams will end the night on the top of the rostrum.
He was certainly in sparkling form last week in Poland, dropping just one point in six rides and then winning a run-off to send his team straight to the final.
With no Swindon fixture this week, I took the chance to go to Reading on Sunday to see their Premier League meeting with the high-flying Edinburgh Monarchs.
The Smallmead track provided some excellent racing, and it was great to see Reading promoter (and Swindon legend) Malcolm Holloway looking so well after his recent health scare.
His side lost the meeting 48-41 with young Swede Thomas H Jonasson in blistering form for the visitors.
Finally, a blatant plug for the Robins Pit Crew - it's not too late to join for this season, with all the money used to help the riders.
The next social event will be a quiz night at the New Inn pub on Wednesday, July 30. Why not come along?