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Images from Round 2 of the 2018 Speedway Best Pairs Series
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Holder 2.0 – Chris Ready To Make His Mark Again

Apr 232018

Don’t call it a comeback. A comeback implies Chris Holder went somewhere, that he disappeared, and he didn’t. He raced a full season last year, and the year before. Physically, he has never gone anywhere.

Mentally, though, he did disappear. He wasn’t the same Chris Holder that swept through the field like a hurricane to win the world title back in 2012, or the same Chris Holder you used to see in the paddock, an illuminating smile never far from the surface.

Now, finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Genuine, beaming rays of light that look set to shine on Holder in 2018 because the ‘real’ him is back. Back fitter, back stronger, back leaner and back in love with the sport that he has dedicated his life to.

“It’s been a good start to 2018 so far, everything feels sweet and I’m in a much better place than I was last year. The winter was tough but it was the same sort of stuff that I went through last year so I was in a much better place to deal with it and now I’m good.

“I don’t really stress about anything I can’t control so I’ve been focusing on speedway and putting everything into making sure everything is how I like it and being better organised.”

Chris was speaking after his second race of the season, where he showed glimpses of his best form racing for the Monster Energy Team in the second round of the 2018 Speedway Best Pairs Championship.

A strong showing followed a top-score for his Polish club KS Torun in the league a week previously, signalling a fresh start for a man who truly deserves one.

His nightmare 2017 saw him finish outside of the top eight in the SGP Series and that meant that his place for 2018 was under serious threat, needing one of four wild card picks from the organisers to get a place. 

 

For a man who is used to fighting for medals, sweating on a place in the whole series wasn’t where he wanted to be.

 

He said: “It wasn’t nice to need a wild card and to rely on someone else’s decision, last year was terrible so my hopes weren’t that high but I was praying I’d get one. It was a bit of a wake up call really, I want to be back at the top and back mixing it with the top guys and to do that you’ve got to sacrifice a fair bit, so that’s what I’ve done. All the other stuff has taken a back seat and I’m just focused on this.”

 

The Australian has taken his preparations seriously and he appears to be healthier than he has been in years, something Chris hopes will make a difference when the season gets underway.

 

“Over the Winter I had a lot of time just stuck in England so I got a personal trainer that would come to the house and get me into shape and I feel good. I did it once before in 2016 and started that season well but personally everything went out the window mid-season and it all went wrong from there.

 

“2017 was pretty much written off before it started, I didn’t do anything and didn’t care at all. I don’t want to have a year like I did last year; I was terrible everywhere, things weren’t working and I didn’t give a s**t about it really, I was over it.

 

“This year is different, I’m doing the things you should be doing. Everyone is stepping it up and to run with those boys you’ve got to do something, so I’m there and working hard.

 

“I’m excited about racing speedway again, that’s the biggest thing. I’ve had a decent start, my bikes are good, I’m happy with them and I feel good in myself. Coming to the track I’m pumped again, I want to be there and that’s a big thing. I’m just looking ahead now.”

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