The draw and 10-man squads for next month‰Ûªs Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup have been revealed.
One of the most exciting weeks on the world speedway calendar opens with Event 1 at Polish track Gniezno on June 6, featuring Poland, Sweden, Czech Republic and qualifiers Russia.
The Poles, who line up in red helmet colours, name a star-studded squad including their FIM Speedway Grand Prix stars Jaroslaw Hampel, Krzysztof Kasprzak and Maciej Janowski, with 2010 world champ Tomasz Gollob, FIM Speedway Under-21 world champion Piotr Pawlicki and his talented brother Przemyslaw thrown in for good measure.
The Swedes in blue go into the competition with SGP duo Andreas Jonsson and Tomas H Jonasson leading the charge. Former SGP stars Antonio Lindback, Fredrik Lindgren and Peter Ljung are also in contention, along with Joonas Kylmakorpi, who has defected from Finland to his country of birth.
The Czech side lines up in white and is skippered by former SGP regular Ales Dryml. He‰Ûªs joined by this Saturday‰Ûªs Czech SGP wild card Vaclav Milik, plus talented youngster Eduard Krcmar and Josef Franc.
Russia take the yellow helmets and could name a stellar side, featuring former world No.3 Emil Sayfutdinov and brothers Grigorii and Artem Laguta.
Event 2 takes place at British venue King‰Ûªs Lynn on June 8, and sees Team Great Britain tackle old rivals Australia, the USA and Latvia.
The Lions are spearheaded by 2013 world champ Tai Woffinden and SGP hotshot Chris Harris as they don the red helmets, while teenage sensation Robert Lambert could make his Team GB debut on his home track.
The USA race in blue and go into the Monster Energy SWC with three-time and defending world champion Greg Hancock at the helm. The likes of Ryan Fisher, Gino Manzares and Ricky Wells could join him in Billy Hamill‰Ûªs final four.
The Aussies start in white helmets and SGP heroes Chris Holder, Troy Batchelor and Jason Doyle are all hotly-tipped for places, with the likes of Dakota North, Nick Morris, Max Fricke, Josh Grajczonek and Brady Kurtz also in the running.
Latvia compete in yellow with a team skippered by former FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship bronze medallist Maksims Bogdanovs. He is joined by ex-King‰Ûªs Lynn rider Andzejs Lebedevs and Kasts Puodzuks.
The winners of Events 1 and 2 advance directly into the Monster Energy SWC Final at Danish track Vojens on June 13, with the second and third-placed teams meeting in the Race Off at the same venue on June 11. The victors there also earn a spot in the last four.
The Monster Energy SWC Final field is completed by hosts Denmark, who are led by triple world champ Nicki Pedersen, Niels-Kristian Iversen and Michael Jepsen Jensen.
FULL MONSTER ENERGY FIM SPEEDWAY WORLD CUP SQUADS:
EVENT 1 (GNIEZNO, POLAND ‰ÛÒ JUNE 6)
POLAND (Red): Krzysztof Buczkowski, Tomasz Gollob, Jaroslaw Hampel (captain), Maciej Janowski, Krzysztof Kasprzak, Piotr Pawlicki, Przemyslaw Pawlicki, Piotr Protasiewicz, Pawel Przedpelski, Bartosz Zmarzlik.
SWEDEN (Blue): Andreas Jonsson (captain), Tomas H Jonasson, Fredrik Lindgren, Antonio Lindback, Peter Ljung, Linus Sundstrom, Kim Nilsson, Jonas Davidsson, Oliver Berntzon, Joonas Kylmakorpi.
CZECH REPUBLIC (White): Ales Dryml (captain), Josef Franc, Jan Holub, Zdenek Holub, Eduard Krcmar, Matej Kus, Martin Malek, Vaclav Milik, Tomas Suchanek.
RUSSIA (Yellow): Victor Kulakov, Vadim Tarasenko, Emil Sayfutdinov (captain), Vitali Belousov, Artem Laguta, Grigorii Laguta, Vladimir Borodulin, Andrei Kudriashov, Renat Gafurov, Ilya Chalov.
EVENT 2 (KING‰ÛªS LYNN, GREAT BRITAIN ‰ÛÒ JUNE 8)
GREAT BRITAIN (Red): Tai Woffinden (captain), Chris Harris, Danny King, Craig Cook, Robert Lambert, Kyle Howarth, Richie Worrall, Richard Lawson, Lewis Kerr, Kyle Newman.
USA (Blue): Greg Hancock (captain), Ryan Fisher, Gino Manzares, Max Ruml, Broc Nicol, Billy Janniro, Ricky Wells, Aaron Fox, Scott Campos, Bryce Stacks.
AUSTRALIA (White): Chris Holder (captain), Troy Batchelor, Jason Doyle, Dakota North, Max Fricke, Sam Masters, Nick Morris, Josh Grajczonek, Brady Kurtz, Justin Sedgmen.
LATVIA (Yellow): Maksims Bogdanovs (captain), Kasts Puodzuks, Andzejs Lebedevs, Jevgenijs Kotigovs, Ivans Plesakovs, Davis Kurmis.
MONSTER ENERGY FIM SPEEDWAY WORLD RACE OFF (VOJENS, DENMARK ‰ÛÒ JUNE 11)
Second and third-placed teams from Events 1 and 2.
MONSTER ENERGY SWC FINAL (VOJENS, DENMARK ‰ÛÒ JUNE 13)
DENMARK: Niels-Kristian Iversen (captain), Peter Kildemand, Kenneth Bjerre, Nicki Pedersen, Bjarne Pedersen, Hans Andersen, Leon Madsen, Michael Jepsen Jensen, Kenni Larsen, Mikkel Bech Jensen.
In the Final, Denmark will face the winners of Event 1, Event 2 and the Race Off.