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Speedway: Life is tough at the top for world champion Holder
7:10am Friday 22nd March 2013 in Latest Sport
REIGNING world champion Chris Holder admits life could prove tougher at the top – but he is adamant he is ready for the challenge.
Holder expects to be a bigger target for his rivals as he bids to successfully defend his status as speedway’s leading man.
The Pirates captain will begin his quest to win back-to-back Grand Prix titles when the tapes fly up in New Zealand tomorrow (3am UK time).
The 25-year-old spent the winter recuperating Down Under after suffering injuries in a heavy track spill while riding for Pirates in October.
But Holder insists he is raring to go ahead of the eagerly-anticipated opener in Auckland – although he thinks his opponents will be even more determined to dethrone the king.
The Poole star, whose British base is in Bearwood, told the Daily Echo: “Everyone is going to be going at it that little bit extra to beat you because you are world champion.
“But I have never been in this position so we are just going to have to see. For me, nothing has really changed. I have still got the same mechanics and pretty much the same set-up as last year.
“We will see how it goes but I am just pretty happy that the leg is all good and everything seems pretty sweet and I am ready to go.”
Holder worked hard during the close season in a bid to fully recover following the multiple injuries which prematurely halted his golden campaign in 2012.
The Wimborne Road hero was hospitalised after sustaining a broken rib, broken tibia and knee ligament damage.
He said: “It feels fine. It takes a bit of time to build the strength in it but I am not really worried about it at all.”
- Full report from Auckland in Monday’s Daily Echo.