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TAI TAKES TIME OUT

World champion Tai Woffinden admits he doesn’t have the strength to race right now, but has vowed to be back for the Monster Energy SWC.

16 / 07 / 2014, 12:30

World champion Tai Woffinden admits he doesn’t have the strength to race right now, but has vowed to be back for Great Britain’s Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup opener at King’s Lynn on July 26.

The Scunthorpe-born racer has been named skipper of the Lions side to face USA, Australia and Italy at the Norfolk Arena.

Woffinden, who was the centre of national media coverage in the build-up to last weekend’s Mitas British FIM Speedway Grand Prix, has revealed how the emotion of Cardiff and everything that went with it has weighed him down physically and mentally.

I’m exhausted and cannot race. I have been struggling to hold onto the bike these last few days since Cardiff.

Tai Woffinden

He said: “I’m exhausted and cannot race. I have been struggling to hold onto the bike these last few days since Cardiff.

“Cardiff was an awesome experience, I loved every minute of it, but the build-up was pretty intense and I didn’t turn down one media request. The fans were unbelievable and I cannot thank them enough for the support they gave me there – the British fans plus those from Poland and Sweden who came across too, it was brilliant.

“I had a cool result there in Cardiff, top scoring and taking the lead in the championship, so I’m happy with that, of course I am. But I went to Poland on Sunday and I was shattered. I was leading races but didn’t have the physical strength to keep going for four laps and let the lead slip.

“I couldn’t ride Wolverhampton properly on Monday because I didn’t have the strength – but after riding in Poland, I didn’t want anyone pointing the finger at me for missing England on Monday, I didn’t want to let Wolverhampton and the supporters down.

“The same applied to Sweden on Tuesday. I felt I had to do it, but enough is enough, I need time out. Now the target is to come back at King’s Lynn refreshed and fitter, ready to give it my all for my country.”

Woffinden has also revealed how poor diet and sleep patterns have contributed to his condition after visiting hospital in Sweden on Tuesday.

“They want me to have longer out, but I’m not missing the World Cup,” he said. “When I race in England, I burn 1,500 calories in five rides and that’s a fair chunk of daily intake.

“When you add Poland, Sweden and the Grand Prix, it’s hard to compensate for the energy you have used with proper food and sleep.

“A lot of the guys in my position rely on motorway service stations for food and it’s full of sugar and fat – the same in hotels and fast food restaurants. That’s a recipe for disaster. The only time I eat properly is when I’m at home – and I’m hardly there.

“My sleep pattern is all over the place. I can’t sleep properly, so when you put no sleep together with a lack of proper food it’s not good. But I must stress that’s not just me; the other guys who are busy are in the same boat.

“I need some time away from it all and I apologise to my fans and to my clubs, but I hope everyone understands. And thanks again to everyone for their support.”

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