GRAND PRIX CHALLENGE SEMI FINAL 1
 
This was a strange meeting that never seemed to settle into a pattern with a few surprise names progressing at the end of it and some of the more fancied riders falling by the wayside in the chase for a Grand Prix place.  The most consistent rider on the day was Ila Niemi and he showed all his experience on the international stage to win the meeting with 13 points.  Whilst Niemi upset the odds a little he has seen it all before at this level but the same does not apply to 18-year-old Alex Golden.  The youngster started steadily, with 5 points at the interval, but after the break he made two flying starts to jet to 11 points as opponents dropped points and he will line-up in the GP Challenge, some achievement for a teenager!  Doug Monaghan had the opposite experience as he was unbeaten going into the interval but then looked in danger of missing out with a poor display in his final rides.  Eventually he recovered his early meeting form to add another vital victory in a run-off which saw him end 3rd in the meeting and confirm his qualifying place.  The final spot went to Louis Joossens, who followed Monaghan home in the run-off; Joossens was amongst the pre-meeting favourites and did enough to justify his growing reputation but the youngster, still only 20, made harder work of it than he may have hoped!
 
Of the rest of the field everyone seemed to string a couple of good rides together and then blow their chances, only 4 riders in the whole field didn't register at least a last place at one stage.  One of those was Leon Jeppesen who was the rider to miss out in the run-off for the final 2 qualifying places - the other was Marco Bellini who took 5 third places to finish well down the field.  Of the riders more favoured by the bookies before the meeting Ray France recovered from a pointless first ride to look like he could progress but a final ride exclusion cost him his chance and he will now hope that his recent win in the British Grand Prix will make the selectors give him a reprieve when they pick the 1 Wild Card place for the GP Challenge.  Jason Isaacs was another to fade late in the meeting, just 1 points after the break to see him miss out on the crucial run-off by a point.  Jernej Keglovits made a reasonable start but then suffered a retirement in his third ride and appeared off the pace after that.  Jens Isaksen and Hannu Helinen were others who made poor starts and left it too late and they'll very much be kicking themselves, particularly Isaksen who has ridden so well in helping Denmark reach the World Pairs Final.
 
  1. Ila Niemi................. 3  2  2  3  3  13   ---   QUALIFIED
  2. Alex Golden............... 2  1  2  3  3  11   ---   QUALIFIED
  3. Doug Monaghan............. 3  3  3  0  1  10   ---   QUALIFIED
  4. Louis Joossens............ 3  2  0  2  3  10   ---   QUALIFIED
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  5. Leon Jeppesen............. 1  2  3  2  2  10
  6. Jason Isaacs.............. 2  3  3  1  0   9
  7. Ray France................ 0  2  3  3  X   8
  8. Gote Nordvall............. 1  3  2  0  2   8
  9. Tyler Tebby............... 3  0  1  2  2   8
 10. Jens Isaksen.............. 2  0  1  3  1   7
 11. Hannu Helinen............. 0  0  2  1  3   6
 12. Jernej Keglovits.......... 1  3  R  0  2   6
 13. Marco Bellini............. 1  1  1  1  1   5
 14. Korey Pierce.............. 2  0  0  1  0   3
 15. Archie Sanders............ 0  1  Fx 2  0   3
 16. Ove Dalasen............... 0  1  1  0  1   3
 
 No. Results
  1: Ila Niemi, Jason Isaacs, Gote Nordvall, Ray France 
  2: Doug Monaghan, Korey Pierce, Leon Jeppesen, Archie Sanders 
  3: Tyler Tebby, Jens Isaksen, Marco Bellini, Ove Dalasen 
  4: Louis Joossens, Alex Golden, Jernej Keglovits, Hannu Helinen 
  5: Jernej Keglovits, Ray France, Archie Sanders, Tyler Tebby 
  6: Jason Isaacs, Louis Joossens, Ove Dalasen, Korey Pierce 
  7: Doug Monaghan, Ila Niemi, Alex Golden, Jens Isaksen 
  8: Gote Nordvall, Leon Jeppesen, Marco Bellini, Hannu Helinen 
  9: Ray France, Hannu Helinen, Jens Isaksen, Korey Pierce 
 10: Jason Isaacs, Alex Golden, Marco Bellini, Archie Sanders (Fx) 
 11: Leon Jeppesen, Ila Niemi, Tyler Tebby, Louis Joossens 
 12: Doug Monaghan, Gote Nordvall, Ove Dalasen, Jernej Keglovits (R) 
 13: Ray France, Louis Joossens, Marco Bellini, Doug Monaghan 
 14: Jens Isaksen, Leon Jeppesen, Jason Isaacs, Jernej Keglovits 
 15: Ila Niemi, Archie Sanders, Hannu Helinen, Ove Dalasen 
 16: Alex Golden, Tyler Tebby, Korey Pierce, Gote Nordvall 
 17: Alex Golden, Leon Jeppesen, Ove Dalasen, Ray France (X) 
 18: Hannu Helinen, Tyler Tebby, Doug Monaghan, Jason Isaacs 
 19: Ila Niemi, Jernej Keglovits, Marco Bellini, Korey Pierce 
 20: Louis Joossens, Gote Nordvall, Jens Isaksen, Archie Sanders 
 21: Doug Monaghan, Louis Joossens, Leon Jeppesen