GREAT Britain boss Alun Rossiter has lavished praise on world champion Tai Woffinden, comparing his captain to legendary Swede Tony Rickardsson.
Woffinden top-scored with 12 as Rossiter’s side progressed into Saturday’s World Cup final from last weekend’s opening round in King’s Lynn, with the Robins team manager impressed with the Wolves man’s performance off the track and his attitude off it.
Rossiter knows Woffinden well despite having not formally worked with him before taking on the national team job but, having seen him in action closely for the first time, he can see shades of six-time world champion Rickardsson in him.
With Woffinden having already stated his desire to surpass the Swede’s total, the Robins boss believes all the evidence points to it being possible.
“This is the first time I’ve worked with Tai and, even though I do know him quite well because I see him around and we do talk, the bottom line is he is an outstanding rider,” he said.
“You can see why he’s world champion, he’s just so single-minded and knows what he wants, he’s so focused on his job.
“It reminds me of the days of Tony Rickardsson, where Tony thought at times he was unbeatable. I don’t think Woffy thinks he’s unbeatable but I do think he believes he can be world champion again, which he certainly can.”
As well as being impressed with Woffinden’s own performance, Rossiter was pleased to see the world championship leader helping out his teammates at King’s Lynn.
“He’s absolutely outstanding in the team, I couldn’t ask for more from a captain,” he said.
“I know Bomber (Chris Harris) was disappointed when I changed things to bring Tai in as captain but Tai’s been amazing. He let Richie Worrall sit and listen in during the meeting and had his bike ready for when Steady needed it for one of his heats.
“People criticise him because he was brought up in Australia but he does it just to wind people up, and people bite, but his approach to the World Cup has proved to me he’s British through and through.
“He could be from Outer Mongolia for all I care but he’s British, end of.”