Major milestone for great Scott and he’s not finished yet

Scott Nicholls in action for Panthers.
Scott Nicholls in action for Panthers.
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Peterborough Panthers racer Scott Nicholls has reached a major milestone.

The seven-time British champion completed a quarter-of-a-century in the sport last Saturday.

Scott Nicholls.

Scott Nicholls.

It was 25 years to the day of his first-ever meeting at senior level when also representing the city club away at Long Eaton in the old Second Division on June 29, 1994.

And Nicholls, now 41, has achieved a hell of a lot in the time since during a distinguished international and domestic career.

He racked up more than 80 appearances in the World Championship, captained Great British in the World Cup, won the national title in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2012, and also featured in t three top-flight title-winning sides.

“I can’t say I ever expected it go on this long . . . and nor did my wife either!” said Nicholls.

“I always thought I’d probably have had enough by my mid 30s so I guess I’ve outstayed my welcome by a few years.

“I am proud of what I’ve achieved in the sport, but I’ll always look back gutted not to have won a GP as I came very close on a few occasions.

“With hindsight I would probably have done things slightly differently in the World Championship that may have helped me make further progress.

“The seven British titles are definitely pretty cool.

“The later two probably had more significance than some of the earlier ones as there was much more of a threat in terms of the opposition and I was having a tougher time in my league racing.

“It was also a huge honour to captain Great Britain and win a couple of silver medals in the World Cup, but I’ll never forget the night at Poole in 2004 when we should have had gold.

“So much has happened in the last 25 years and so many things have changed in the sport – and I’ve got lots of great memories.

“I’m still enjoying my racing hugely but the travellingis really becoming a bugbear.

“I can’t remember the last time I got to a meeting and home again without some sort of hold-up or diversion because of roadworks.”

And while Nicholls can look back on his lengthy career with huge pride, he is far from happy with his form since returning for his latest spell in Panthers colours.

His struggles to find the right set-up for the revamped East of England Arena track continued with a three-point haul in the city club’s derby defeat at the hands of Ipswich on Monday night.

“To say I’m frustrated would be an understatement,” added Nicholls.

“When I came here earlier in the year with Wolverhampton I felt really quick, but since I’ve been back at Peterborough I have really struggled to find the right set-up.

“I’m trying different things every week and I know I’ll get it right, but it’s obviously disappointing to lose to riders who, with no disrespect intended, I should be beating.

“It sounds silly, but the track is almost too good at the moment.

“It’s so smooth that everyone loves riding here and it can be very tough to make a pass.

“Our goal is definitely to make the play-offs and we need to make sure everyone clicks to push ourselves up there.”

Like the rest of the team Nicholls struggled for form in Monday’s heavy home defeat at the hands of new SGB Premiership leaders Ipswich Witches, returning just four points.

Nicholls has raced for Ipswich, Poole, Coventry, Eastbourne, Swindon, Belle Vue, Rye House and Wolverhampton at the top level while representing Panthers and Leicester in the second tier.