Ryan Sullivan - broken collarbone and all - rode superbly all night long and in particular when it mattered most to win the Grand Prix of Sweden in Avesta this evening. Lukas Dryml was second with Leigh Adams third. Biggest shock of the event was the failure of Tony Rickardsson to make the final.

Flyin' Ryan made up for his Chorzow disappointment of a fortnight ago and displayed his liking of the high line moving out to find the dirt and the extra drive. There can be no arguments he deserved his win, which moves him up to third in the standings and right back in the big picture.

Dryml's second place ties him at the head of the standings with Rickardsson, both tied on 38 points. Third placed Adams was always in the thick of the action but Jason Crump, strongly fancied prior to the event, went spinning out early after two last places.

Use of the inside gate was generally a big advantage with four of the first five heats being won by the rider in the red helmet. Scott Nicholls got a little over-eager in heat three and rolled in to the tapes, earning an exclusion and putting himself under big pressure for his next ride.

The only rider not to win from gate one in those first four heats was Lee Richardson. He and Sullivan were locked in combat for second place in heat four but the Coventry rider ran out of room going for a big blast round the outside and slammed in to the air fence. He had to go out again in heat five to stay in the event but retired from the race looking a little shaken from his fall. Andreas Jonsson eliminated from the same heat as the red helmet (Bo Brhel) won again.

Nicholls faced elimination in heat six and looked a certainty for the exit with Jason Lyons leading from Ronni Pedersen. Nicholls gained ground and in a desperate do-or-die move lunged up the inside of Pedersen off the final turn. The two flashed over the line together and Nicholls with his front wheel in the air but it was the Dane who got the narrowest of verdicts to extend his stay.

Gate one was still the place to be as shown by Krystzof Cegielski in heat eight and Rickardsson who marked his entry on the night with a huge winning margin. Crump broke the inside monopoly by taking heat ten from the outside gate after Nicki Pedersen got a tapes exclusion. Then back to gate one with Michael Max easing to victory in heat eleven. Jason Lyons a smooth winner of heat twelve before Rickardsson again looked simply untouchable in heat twelve from guess where - yes, gate one.

Dryml and Adams kept the inside gate sequence going with untroubled wins in heats fourteen and fifteen, both of which saw passing moves. Gollob got himself wound up to nip past the lively Barjerski in heat fourteen only for the latter to retake his more famous countryman on the last lap and send him to an elimination heat. Hancock did the same to Piotr Protasiewicz in heat fifteen to mean another Pole faced an early bath next time out.

Rune Holta was sharply away in heat sixteen from Crump and although Holta would not face any challenge, Max opened up the throttle as wide as he could and swept wide round Crump in to second place. Crump slipped back to last place and knew he had to do two places better in the next heat or his night would be over. And he had to do it from the outside gate too. However he could not and coasted over the line again in last place for a sad exit as Nicki Pedersen (another winner from gate one) and Cegielski progressed.

Gollob was the next recipient of the inside starting position and went through with Bjarne Pedersen in heat eighteen which saw Jason Lyons and Todd Wiltshire eliminated making three Australians out (the other being Crump) in the space of about five minutes.

The stakes would be raised over the next sequence of races as each rider knew that a first or second placing in his next ride meant a certain semi-final place. Rickardsson was the first to secure his with another huge win from the still favoured inside gate. Adams battled past Bajerski for the other guaranteed semi-final place. Sullivan then blazed wide and fast to sweep in to the lead and win heat nineteen from Holta.

Hancock made the most of his second chance to win heat nineteen and progress to the semis along with Bajerski as both Nicki and Bjarne Pedersen's nights ended. Max and Dryml completed the semi-final line-up with first and second place in the next as Gollob and Cegielski were eliminated.

And so to the first semi final. Rickardsson drew the unflavoured gate three but surely was nailed in for at least second place as that's all he needed to make the final. Hancock had the inside and made the most of it. Behind him Dryml and Rickardsson were really going at it with the young Czech having both the speed and determination to block every move Rickardsson made to send the five time champ to the showers.

Sullivan impressively won the second semi and Adams rode around Max to mean two Australians would be in the final together with one American (Hancock) and one Czech (Dryml). It looked a wide open final but would the advantage lie with Adams seeing as he rides at Avesta in the Swedish League making it his "home" track - would that be the telling factor.

Dryml got the plumb inside draw with Hancock from gate two, Sullivan three and Adams four. Sullivan got away the better and jetted in to the early lead. Adams executed a cut-back move trying to keep it tight but in doing so lifted with his momentum taking him towards the outside down the back straight with Dryml.

Hancock saw a Red Sea sized hole open up down the inside and he went for it but entering turn three it all got a little tight. Hancock's turn making contact with Adams sending him in turn in to Dryml with the pair of them sent with some impact in the air fence. The referee had little hesitation in deeming Hancock at fault and he was excluded and it stayed that way no matter how much the ex-champion protested matters with the man in the box.

Sullivan repeated his super start in the re-run to come home comfortably from Dryml and Adams. With the twenty-five point reward that went with it, Sullivan shoots up to third place overall just seven behind joint leaders Rickardsson and Dryml.

Grand Prix of Sweden, Avesta:

Result
Ryan Sullivan
Lukas Dryml
Leigh Adams
Grag Hancock

Scores from Avesta
Ryan Sullivan 25
Lukas Dryml 20
Leigh Adams 18
Greg Hancock 16
Tony Rickardsson 13
Mikael Max
Rune Holta 11
Tomasz Bajerski
Tomasz Gollob 8
Nicki Pedersen 8
Krzysztof Cegielski 7
Bjarne Pedersen 7
Piotr Protasiewicz 6
Jason Lyons 6
Jason Crump 5
Todd Wiltshire 5
Hans Andersen 4
Ronni Pedersen 4
Bohumil Brhel 3
Peter Karlsson 3
Scott Nicholls 2
Andreas Jonsson 2
Lee Richardson 1
Magnus Zetterstrom 1

Overall standings after Avesta
Tony Rickardsson 38
Lukas Dryml 38
Ryan Sullivan 31
Leigh Adams 29
Nicki Pedersen 28
Greg Hancock 24
Tomasz Gollob 24
Rune Holta 24
Mikael Max 20
Piotr Protasiewicz 19
Jason Crump 16
Krzysztof Cegielski 15
Tomasz Bajerski 15
Bjarne Pedersen 9
Scott Nicholls 8
Lee Richardson 8
Bohumil Brhel 8
Hans Andersen 7
Todd Wiltshire 7
Jason Lyons 7
Mark Loram 5
Peter Karlsson 4
Ronni Pedersen 4
Sebastian Ulamek 4
Rafal Kurmanski 3
Andreas Jonsson 2
Magnus Zetterstrom 1