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Page last updated at 18:08 GMT, Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Nicholls quits British speedway

Scott Nicholls
Scott Nicholls is the 2008 British speedway champion

Great Britain captain Scott Nicholls will not be signing for an Elite League club in 2009.

The 30-year-old has blamed an excessive workload and wants to concentrate on the Speedway Grand Prix series.

He told BBC Sport: "To be doing 50 meetings in England, it just leaves you with such little time to be prepared for the Grands Prix."

The former Eastbourne rider said 2009 would be a "make or break" year for him on the Grand Prix circuit.

Suffolk-born Nicholls is the latest big name to opt out of Elite League speedway.

Jason Crump has already announced that the pressure of riding in too many different European countries has forced him to pull out of speedway in Britain.

It is believed other riders are also considering whether to continue.

Greg Hancock and Nicki Pedersen quit British racing in 2008 and Nicholls believes the Elite League is a less attractive prospect as a result.

"No disrespect to any of the other riders but, because it's getting weaker, it's almost like you ride under your own standard sometimes," added Nicholls.

"I want to challenge every meeting. It's nice to have the easy meetings for the pay day but sometimes you can feel like you're underperforming."

Nicholls is calling for the British Speedway Promoters Association to re-jig the Elite League calendar, reducing the number of meetings which he believes could attract the big riders back.

He said: "I'm hoping they can find some sort of compromise where the riders can do a 20-meeting schedule in England and I'm sure that would then attract the likes of Jason Crump and Nicki Pedersen and maybe even Greg Hancock back to England."

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see also
Cook eyes future without GP stars
24 Nov 08 |  Motorsport

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Sky Sports Nicholls quits Elite League - 15 hrs ago
Evening Star Nicholls quitting British speedway - 21 hrs ago
East Anglian Daily Times Nicholls quitting British speedway - 23 hrs ago


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