Photo gallery: Mads Korneliussen enjoys a perfect day during speedway testimonial at King’s Lynn
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Even the sun came out to celebrate 10 years of Mads Korneliussen riding in British speedway at King's Lynn yesterday.
On a beautiful day at the Norfolk Arena riders and fans from across the country paid tribute to the likeable ace during his testimonial. For a man who calls himself the 'Black Sheep' of the Danish scene – because he feels he's not popular among his country's hierarchy for being so outspoken – a packed Saddlebow Road stadium proved he's certainly a much-loved figure in the United Kingdom.
A star-studded field containg some of his fellow racers showed he is respected among his peers while a bumper crowd packed Korneliussen's former home track to prove the 30-year-old is still seen as a fans' favourite by many at Lynn – even if he doesn't ride for the Stars anymore.
The main attraction's four-man Leicester Lions team won the event, which was fitting, while one of his best friends – Lynn's Dane Niels-Kristian Iversen, representing the now-defunct Newport – won the grand final to make it an almost perfect one-two for Korneliussen. And the opinionated slider, who wrote a great weekly column for the Eastern Daily Press during 2012 and 2013, admits it was an event he will never forget.
Korneliussen said: 'It was a perfect day, a perfect turn-out and the weather was at great as it could be. Leicester won the meeting as a team and Niels won the final, a best friend, so it couldn't have gone any better at all. I beat Niels (heat 16) so there is a bit of grief going on there, you always want to beat Niels and it's always nice to beat the guy who wins the meeting so that was perfect. But my highlight of the day was probably winning my first race (heat four) as I hadn't raced competitively since last season.
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'It's a day I'll always remember. I do want to thank everyone who worked their backsides off last night to do this and everyone who turned up, paid their hard-earned money to come in and support me which I'm very grateful for.'
Following three years in Norfolk, the main man of the day showed his new club the Lions what they can expect from him in 2014. It may have been a friendly meeting but he gave his all, as ever, which is why he's become such a popular two-wheeler.
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The action was relatively fierce in the season's curtain-raiser with the 16 men on show battling hard – just like Korneliussen always has. The Dane won his first two races but was pushed all the way by Rory Schlein and Cameron Woodward in both of them. He wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
The 'Leicester' team on the day triumphed with a total of 28 points from their 16 heats while Swindon and Lynn tied for second on 24. Newport bagged 19. Each team's top-scorer rode in the final which Iversen won but the day belonged to his fellow countryman.
Leicester (28 points): Joonas Kylmakorpi (10), Mads Korneliussen (9), Peter Ljung (7), Patrick Hougaard (2).
Swindon (24): Peter Kildemand (11), Hans Andersen (5), Troy Batchelor (5), Nicolai Klindt (5).
Lynn (24): Kenneth Bjerre (8), Richie Worrall (7), Rory Schlein (6), Morten Risager (3).
Newport (19): Niels-Kristian Iversen (9), Cameron Woodward (6), Scott Nicholls (5), Ty Proctor (0)
*Each rider rode four times during the main event
Grand final: Iversen (1st), Kildemand (2nd), Bjerre (3rd), Kylmakorpi (4th).