King’s Lynn Stars’ heat-leading Danish duo ready for Elite League Riders’ Championship
- Credit: Ian Burt
King's Lynn Stars will have two representatives at tonight's 16-man Elite League Riders' Championship in Leicester.
Heat leaders Niels-Kristian Iversen and Kenneth Bjerre will be opponents when the battle for individual glory commences among the British top-flight's finest riders. And they'll be hoping to follow the suit of their club's skipper Rory Schlein, not involved this evening, who lifted the prestigious ELRC crown in 2013.
The Australian relinquished his title at Lynn last season to former Stars racer Troy Batchelor – among the favourites to taste success at this year's 22-heat showcase. But Iversen and Bjerre will be among those who realistically expect to challenge following their excellent opening to the campaign during Schlein's testimonial on Sunday.
Bjerre won the event with Iversen – only just returning from a serious knee injury which saw his 2014 campaign brought to a premature end in August – finishing second and showing he is in the mood to make up for lost time.
The runner-up during his captain's big night said: 'I'm not desperate to win it (ELRC), so to speak, but again it would be nice to start off with a win, a podium or whatever.
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'It's difficult to say what would be good or what would be bad. Sometimes you don't have to win a meeting to actually do well. The first step for me is to get back and get into that gear where I hit a lot of points and win a lot of races. That's the first priority for me.'
Iversen and Bjerre – both of whom have starred on the Grand Prix circuit – are yet to win one of the annual one-off ELRC meetings.
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Alex Harkess, British Speedway Promoters' Association (BSPA) chairman, said: 'I'd like to thank Leicester for hosting the meeting, the return of the sport to this city has been a major success and a huge positive for British speedway.
'They have shown great ambition in their move into the Elite League and I am delighted they have made a success of that move. Leicester is ideally located for a meeting of this stature and I'm sure we will see a bumper crowd with fans from throughout the country travelling to see some of the top stars in world speedway in action.'
Full line-up: Iversen and Bjerre (King's Lynn), Mikkel Bech (Lakeside), Bjarne Pedersen (Leicester), Matej Zagar (Belle Vue), Scott Nicholls (Belle Vue), Andreas Jonsson (Lakeside), Jason Doyle (Leicester), Chris Holder (Poole), Freddie Lindgren (Wolverhampton), Troy Batchelor (Swindon), Chris Harris (Coventry), Maciej Janowski (Poole), Nick Morris (Swindon), Hans Andersen (Coventry), Jacob Thorssell (Wolverhampton).