23/02/14 - OLSEN COMES OF AGE IN KAMENSK-URALSKY
The Russians once again used the European Championship to flex their undoubted muscle and showcase a selection of riders from the conveyor belt of talent not competing in this year's Gladiators Championship.
However, whilst the net result over the weekend saw the gold and silver medals won by home riders, it was the overall third place won by Jimmy Olsen which raised most eyebrows.
The 17 year old Swede rode an accomplished race over both days to finish 3rd in the A-Final on the Saturday, and earning a solid win in the B-Final on the Sunday - that was enough for a 26 point haul, which saw the youngster pip seasoned campaigner and GP rider, Stefan Pletschacher to the bronze.
As for those aforementioned Russians, the gold went to Vasily Nesythyh, and the silver to Yegor Myshkovets.
You can view the final standings in full by clicking this link.
16/02/14 - IVANOV MAINTAINS HIS LEAD IN THE FAR EAST
As ever, the Russian Far-East produced some entertaining racing, and provided us with further proof (if indeed it was needed!) that the battle for the World title will go down to the wire. Unfortunately, it also provided us with another casualty...
Day One saw the usual dominance of the Russians in the Heats, but was noteworthy because of the dropped points in Heat 6 from Koltakov, which, given the clinical consistency of reigning Champion, Daniil Ivanov, could prove costly at the end of the season.
It also saw Austrian interest in the World Championship completely wiped out with Harald Simon crashing out in the Heats, to join his compatriot, Franky Zorn in Hospital.
The day highlighted how much strength-in-depth Russian Ice Speedway possesses, with Pavel Chaika providing Ivanov and Koltakov with genuine competition.
The Final saw Koltakov beat Ivanov to the Gold medal, with Chaika leading Sergey Makarov to earn the final spot on the podium.
Day Two was conspicuous by it's producing of no less than FIVE crashes, the most pivotal of which came, unfortunately, in the Final, and saw Dmitry Koltakov disqualified - in the rerun, the excellent Pavel Chaika also suffered the same fate, this time for illegally crossing the blue line.
This left Daniil Ivanov to take the chequered flag, followed by Igor Kononov.
All in all, a thoroughly satisfying weekend's work for the reigning Champion, and it also proved to be another good run for the Swedes, with both Per-Anders Lindström and Stefan Svensson putting in impressive performances and netting valuable points.
The updated Championship standings can be seen by clicking this link to our Fixtures/Results page.
10/02/14 - WORLD TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
As we all expected, on home soil, in the magnificent home of Mega-Lada Togliatti, Russia, once again, claimed the World Team crown.
However, with the usually strong Austrian team reeling from the loss of Franz Zorn in Krasnogorsk (the previous weekend), this left the door open for a more open fight than we expected for the other two podium places.
Sweden stepped up to the plate with Stefan Svensson putting in a solid performance on both days, but they were pushed all the way by a Finnish team who lost their star man, Antti Aakko after Day One. Far from letting this affect them, Team Finland beat off competition from Germany and the weakened Austrians, largely due to a magnificent weekend-best points contribution of 32 from Mats Jarf who looked like a man possessed.
So, Russia, Sweden and Finland were your medal winners for 2014, and many of these riders will again be in action next weekend, when we see Round 2 of the Gladiators as well as the European Championship taking place consecutively.
For a full breakdown of the final results from today, simply click this link to the ISW fixtures & results page.