REIGNING champion Rory Schlein would love nothing more than to end a tough year on a high by retaining the Elite League Riders’ Championship.

The Belle Vue number one has endured an up and down campaign as his side slumped to the bottom of the table, and also missed large chunks of the season through injury.

The Australian came out on top when the best riders in world convened at the Abbey Stadium 12 months ago, and he is keen to do the same again.

“Everyone will want to end the season on a high with the way the weather has gone, but for me personally it has been up and down with injury, rain-offs and illness, so it would be good to finish well,” he said.

“You get five races to get as many points as possible to get into the semi-final and you need a bit of luck too, so we will have to see.

“There is no doubt it is the biggest individual championship I have won in my career, and it would be nice to do it again.

“But I have to be realistic, and maybe a place on the rostrum would be good for me.”

Schlein knows he is going to have to produce his best if he is going to retain his title, but is pleased to be defending his crown on a track he knows well.

“It is always a meeting I have enjoyed doing, and with it being at Swindon it is also at a track I enjoy riding,” he said.

“I have never heard anyone say a bad thing about the track, and that says a lot about Swindon.

“I don’t think there is a rider who does not enjoy it, and that says it all really because everyone will probably remember having a good meeting there.

“There was some good racing there last year, so I think it is a good choice to be back there this year.

“It is a good field so it should be good for the spectators, and everyone seems to be peaking just at the right time.

“Chris won the world title and Darcy has been going great, and then there is Niels-Kristian Iversen, Hans Andersen and Troy Batchelor too, so it is going to be tough.”