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TEAM GB AND CRAIG COOK ARE THE WINNERS
Monday 3rd March 2014
by Mike Hunter
The first big success of the sixth staging of the Ben Fund Bonanza was the weather, a glorious day which drew a big crowd to Leicester's excellent stadium.
The weather, the presence of the World Champion and the chance to see Alun Rossiter's Great Britain team in action for the first time seemed to catch the interest of the fans, as well as the chance to contribute to such a good cause.

The British side did win, having taken the lead in heat 2, but Garry Stead's Rest of the World team put up a good show with Garry using (old-style) tac sub Bjarne Pedersen, plus a couple of extra rides for the in-form reserve Nick Morris, to keep it close right to the end.

Bjarne Pedersen opened the meeting by beating Tai Woffinden, but a King-Harris 4-2 put GB ahead. Adam Skornicki didn't look as though he was quite ready for the season to start.

The next seven heat winners were all on the home side, three of them to the impressive Craig Cook. A 5-1 from Woffinden and Richie Worrall in heat 7 extended the lead to 8 points.

Pedersen came into heat 8 and this was the race of the day, a passing battle with Chris Harris. Chris won it but his partner Ben Barker was at the rear.

Cook and Howarth extended the lead to 10 points in the next race, but in heat 10 Morris beat Woffinden to start the fightback. The RoW team were unlucky in heat 11, sitting on a 4-2 and with Proctor pressing Danny King hard. Unfortunately for Ty, he was adjudged to have brought King down just as he went through, and a big chance was lost.

Morris then kept up the good work by taking the only point of the day off Cook in a rerun heat 12. The two had tangled on the first bend at the first attempt.

A couple of shared races closed out the match with GB winning 45-39.

TEAM GB: Cook 11, Woffinden 10, Harris 8+2, Worrall 5+2, King 5, Howarth 3, Lawson 3, Barker 0.

REST OF THE WORLD: Morris 10+1, Pedersen 9+1, Woodward 7, Hougaard 6, Proctor 3+1, Risager 2+2, Grajczonek 2, Skornicki 0.

The outside gates had been the better ones and that continued in the second half. Woffinden, Pedersen and Harris all went off gate one and lost to (respectively) King, Morris and Grajczonek.
Cook did manage to win off gate 1 but he had to pass Howarth on bend 4 of the opening lap.

In the final Cook had gate 2 but managed to gate, with Morris chasing. Cook held the advantage all the way though not by much, and on the final turn Morris tried an inside dive. There was very little room there and he took Cook out, both riders crashing into the fence.

Mercifully there were no serious injuries though the Cook bike did suffer.

So Craig Cook (awarded the heat) added his name to the previous winners Leigh Adams, Nicki Pedersen, Hans Andersen, Ben Barker and Claus Vissing.
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