Heddon Greta’s Josh Pickering has claimed silver with the Australian under-21 World Cup speedway team.
Pickering’s debut season in Europe reached new heights when he joined Max Fricke, Jack Holder and Brady Kurtz on the podium after pushing the powerful Polish team.
The Australians held a one-point lead at the half way stage of the final in Rybnik, Poland, but to the the delight of the 6000 home crowd, the young Polish team were able to secure their victory with three races remaining.
“I scored six points and won my hardest heat of the day beating the Polish and Great Britain captains. Can't get much better than that for a debut,” Pickering said.
The Polish team completed the meeting with a 10-point advantage over the Aussies, scoring in every race except for heat 8 when captain Kacper Woryna shed a chain.
Under-21 World Champion Max Fricke had his first rides since suffering a serious back injury. Jack Holder and Brady Kurtz both scored 12 points, with a promising contribution from Pickering who scored six points.
Denmark took the bronze medal ahead of a disappointing performance from Great Britain.
Result: 1. Poland: 47; 2. Australia: 37, 3. Denmark: 27; 4. Great Britain: 13