King’s Lynn admit defeat in Pedersen chase
King's Lynn Stars plan to unveil two more of their 2012 Elite League line up this week after finally admitting defeat in their chase for former Norfolk Arena ace and triple world champion Nicki Pedersen.
Club promoter Buster Chapman revealed the Saddlebow outfit had been in advanced discussions with Pedersen to spearhead their challenge for honours, but were unable to secure the Dane's services for the whole season. Lynn's hierarchy were keen to pair Pedersen in tandem with Danish World Team Cup compatriots Niels-Kristian Iversen and Mads Korneliussen for the Stars' second season back in the big time.
'Nicki made it known to us before the AGM that he would love to ride for King's Lynn next season, reaching a deal was not a problem but his availability proved to be,' said Chapman. 'Nicki tried his hardest and was totally honest with us but in the end he could only commit himself until July, and while that meant we had his services for the first half of the season it would leave the club with a serious problem for the second half, a risk we simply couldn't afford to take.'
The Stars will announce a fourth signing later today to join Iversen, Korneliussen and David Howe at the club for the new season. The completed line up will be revealed at a supporters' forum scheduled to take place at King's Lynn Town football club on Thursday, December 22 (7.30pm).
Stars' team boss Rob Lyon remains optimistic Lynn can build on a third-placed finish in their inaugural campaign despite missing out on grand prix racer Pedersen.
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'In all honesty it would have been a blockbuster signing for the fans having Nicki in the team, but we would have been very top heavy and it was obviously not meant to be,' he said. 'Instead we are going for strength in depth similar in similar style to Eastbourne who finished Elite League runners-up last season. Niels will be our number ne and I will work with him on becoming a more consistent rider, while Mads is great rider and I can see him adding a point to his average.
'At reserve it now means we will be very strong with David Howe and his double up partner starting at number six, David is one of the best number ones in the Premier League and a rider who once had an Elite League average in excess of six points.'
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Pedersen's signing would have softened the blow of losing Kenneth Bjerre who has returned to parent club Peterborough for 2012 along with brother Lasse and former Stars' skipper Olly Allen.
'I enjoyed my year at King's Lynn and was generally happy with my form,' said Bjerre. 'The Stars management looked after me and I got on well with the supporters, but I'm delighted to be back at Peterborough. They own my UK contract and it is where I want to race each week – it's a fantastic racetrack and I have a great relationship with everyone there. It'll also be good to work with our former Danish team manager Jan Staechmann again. The management have put a very solid team together and looking at the structure of the side we should always have a strong reserve.'