Speedway: Monster Miss Out on Pairs Gold‏

Team Monster Energy fell short in their pursuit of the Best Pairs title by the smallest of margins - the toss of a coin!Heading into the final round in Ostrow, Poland our team of Greg Hancock, Chris Holder and Tai Woffinden lead the overall standings but knew that a win in the event itself was the only guarantee of lifting the championship trophy, and they were only denied by a slice of bad luck.After the 21 qualifying races Team Monster were tied on points with Team ePort 2000 and Team Nice and the only way of splitting them was to toss a coin - and with two teams going through to the all important semi-final one team was going to miss out. Unfortunately it was the boys in green and black who were the unlucky ones and we they denied the chance to race for the overall title.Hancock and Holder had a shaky start to the night, scoring five points from a possible 10 in their first two races, with the unlucky Hancock suffering a puncture in the second race - which ultimately proved fatal. After the rocky start, though, the two former world champions got into their stride and looked as if they were back in the game and ready to launch an assault on the title.Holder won race 10 and Hancock race 12 to put them right back into contention, and when they dovetailed perfectly to race to a 5-1 result in heat 15 (the maximum advantage a team can get in a single race) it presented a huge chance to qualify for the latter stages of the meeting and go all-out for gold.It all came down to the penultimate race, heat 20, where a race advantage for Greg and Chris would see them through to the semi-final. Greg made a perfect start and controlled the race throughout, but the inspired Pepe Protasiewicz, of team ePort 2000, wound it all on late in the race and passed him on the very last bend and got the nod by the width of a tyre.That meant that it was all down to the toss of a coin and our guys were on the wrong end of it, meaning there was to be no victory this year. A race-off for overall third saw Team Nice get a 4-2 advantage, relegating Team Monster to overall fourth place.Greg Hancock, speaking after a difficult night, said; "It was a pretty tough night overall but all the teams were really strong and fighting hard for the overall win of course, so it was never going to be easy. "We did the best we could to try and salvage as much out of that that programme as possible and we were in the game but just not quite there in the end. I had one flat tyre that cost us a valuable point but other than that we can't say too much, it's disappointing."We did our best but we got beat by some better teams tonight sadly. Not cool because we led the series from the start and then to lose it this way was a real downer. Tough result for Monster Energy but we will be back!" The series was won by the young Polish duo of Bartosz Zmarzlik and Piotr Pawlicki of Team Fogo Power, who beat ePort 2000 in the grand final to seal victory. It was an impressive win for the youngest team in the competition and shows just how competitive the series was, with some of the sport's biggest names finishing way down the pecking order.The series saw huge crowds over three special events and the racing was just as spectacular, with some of the world's very best going bar-to-bar over 50 races - but ultimately Team Monster fell just short.They will be back next year for another epic series and they'll be going for gold again!