Speedway: Cook blasts Team GB after axe

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CRAIG COOK today said Team GB can “kiss my backside” after the Edinburgh Monarchs speedway star was swiftly axed from their World Cup team after flopping in last night’s encounter against Denmark, Sweden, and the United States at the Norfolk Arena in King’s Lynn.

Cook scored four points in what was his World Cup debut and while this wasn’t enough to help Team GB stop a strong Danish squad from winning the meeting outright and qualifying for the final, they did finish second and go through to Thursday’s race-off in Prague against Australia, Latvia and the US, who clinched third place on the night.

Cook was hugely disappointed with his performance and told the Evening News: “ I just couldn’t get my bike to work, nor was it fast enough, I tried hard but there was nothing I could do. I had felt good during practice in the morning and was really quick, but the track conditions changed quite dramatically come the evening. You win some, you lose some, and I didn’t ride the way I know I can ride.”

Team GB boss Neil Middleditch also gave the chop to Edward Kennett who only scored one point and in an effort to clinch the one place up for grabs in Prague to reach the final, he has drafted in Lewis Bridger and Ben Barker to give them the best possible chance of success.

Cook angrily responded: “To be replaced by Barker and Bridger, who have been there and done it, and were useless, is a bit of a joke. Team GB is supposed to help riders develop for the future. I just feel like saying kiss my backside Great Britian, it’s a farce really.”

Cook added: “This blow has in no way knocked my confidence, it will in fact make me stronger as a rider. I’m up at the top now and if I want something I go out and get it, I will take some good from all of this.”

Monarchs director Mike Hunter commented: “Craig will be so disappointed at the way he rode and so will all Monarchs fans who know just how well he can ride, he just did not look comfortable at all, it was such a pity.”

Eurosport pundit Kelvin Tatum said Cook should have been retained for the Prague showdown, observing: “Team GB are not going to win the World Cup and guys like Craig need to be given the experience for the future.”