Panthers number one Craig Cook is bidding to help Great Britain rule the world . . . but he won’t have time to celebrate!
Cook will line up in the World Cup Final this Saturday night at the National Speedway Stadium in Manchester – his home track at Elite League level.
Cook joins the two-time world champion Tai Woffinden, the reigning British champion Danny King and rising talent Robert Lambert in Alun Rossiter’s Great Britain quartet.
They will take on Event One winners Poland and Event Two top dogs Sweden along with the winning side from the Race-Off tomorrow night (Friday) which features Denmark, Australia, Russia and America.
Cook said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been selected for the World Cup as part of a young, hungry and ambitious team which wants to succeed.
“We’ve got a top quality performer in Tai to lead us while Danny is riding on the crest of a wave after winning the British title.
“No-one tries harder than young Robert, who really has the bit between his teeth, and there is probably no other British rider who can ride the new Belle Vue track better than me.
“I really think we are capable of putting a cat among the pigeons and I thoroughly believe we have as good a chance as any team who will be there on Saturday night.
“We’re all relishing the opportunity and hopefully we can make the most of it with all the British fans behind us in a fantastic stadium.”
But the 29 year-old won’t be savouring the moment for too long if Great Britain manage to pull off a surprise victory.
Cook has important Premier League business the following night when Panthers travel to his first club, Workington, on Sunday.
Cook also rides for Panthers tonight (Thursday) at Sheffield before joining up with his international team-mates tomorrow.
Panthers promoter Ged Rathbone said: “It is a ‘huge honour’ for the club to have a rider competing in the World Cup Final.
“Craig is in the team on merit and I’m sure all our supporters will join me in hoping he can have a good meeting.
“It’s obviously going to be very tough for Great Britain, but hopefully they can do well and win a medal.”