MADS Korneliussen emerged as the winner of the fifth BEN Fund Bonanza meeting which launched the new season at Berwick.
The Dane, who will ride for King’s Lynn in the Elite League, was by far the best rider on show, winning all four of his heats and the final for what was effectively a flawless performance.
But he was made to work hard by fellow countryman Claus Vissing in the final, Vissing making the gate and looking all the way the winner - until the very last bend.
For that was when Korneliussen wound it on going into the third bend on the last lap and blasted up the inside of his compatriot to take his place at the head of the podium ahead of two of his fellow countrymen, Vissing and third placed Hans Andersen.
For many Berwick fans it was a move reminiscent of Seb Alden when he passed Oliver Allen in similar circumstances to win the Bordernapolis two years ago.
No one could deny Korneliussen the victory for he had been the most consistent rider throughout the meeting, which attracted a bumper crowd on it’s first visit to the Border track.
The weather in the build-up to the meeting had been far from ideal, with almost two days of rain.
But the drizzle disappeared, although it was still bitterly cold for the fans who turned out in force to support this annual fund-raising benefit event.
In the build-up to the event some unnamed top riders had been criticised for their non-participation in the meeting, but this did not detract from the quality of the field, with riders of the calibre of four-times Grand Prix winner Hans Andersen, Britain’s own Chris ‘’Bomber’ Harris and last year’s winner Ben Barker all in the starting line-up.
Barker looked to be in determined mood to retain his title when he won his opening two rides, as did Andersen and Korneliussen.
But perhaps the surprise packet was Newcastle’s Richie Worrall who beat Harris in his first race, and then went on to head Andersen out of the gate in his third, and lead him all the way to the line.
Worrall suffered a badly broken leg last season and was a recipient of help from the BEN Fund during his time on the sidelines, so it was nice to see him doing so well in an event he was desperate to ride in.
And if he continues to ride like that for the rest of the year the Diamonds’ fans should have plenty to look forward to.
Barker’s title slipped from his grasp in his two remaining rides. He missed the gate and ran a last in his third race, and in his fourth fell on the first bend, which meant he failed to make the semi-finals.
Korneliussen and Andersen progressed straight through to the final with 12 and 10 points respectively, the four semi-final berths going to Danny King, Vissing, Harris and Worrall.
Vissing and King headed the race-off, and when Vissing made the gate in the final it looked as if he was about to give British promoters something to think about as he is currently unattached and prior to the meeting had indicated he was ‘putting himself in the shop window’ to try and win a ride.
Heat scorers: Mads Korneliussen 12, Hans Andersen 10, Danny King 10, Claus Vissing 9, Richie Worrall 9, Chris Harris 8, Josh Grajczonek 8, Ben Barker 6, James Wright 6, Ricky Ashworth 6, Theo Pijper 6, Mark Lemon 5, Kozza Smith 5, Joe Haines 4, Cameron Woodward 4, Richard Hall 4, Kyle Howarth 3, Ludvig Lindgren 3, Morten Risager 2, Steve Worrall 0.
Semi-final: 1 Vissing, 2 King, 3 Harris, 4 R Worrall.
Final: 1 Korneliussen, 2 Vissing, 3 Andersen, 4 King.