In 2018 season, one of Speedway Euro Championship rounds will come to Daugavpils. We still remember the splendid 2016 contest, when speedway riders made a wonderful show for spectators on stadium and watching from home as well.
Daugavpils, with it’s 87 000 inhabitants, is located in Eastern South of Latvia. Local club, Lokomotiv, is the one making the hometown of Individual Europe Champion Andzejs Lebedevs proud.
- I’ve spent my whole life here. What I like about it is the fact it is small town. We perceive speedway as our national sport. I’m glad that I can represent my hometown in the world – said Andzejs Lebedevs. – I don’t think I have any advantage on this track. Here, I am just more confident – added „Barney”.
SEC cycle comes back to Latvia after a year-long break. On August 6th, 2016, 6 pm, the stands were getting packed very quickly – half an hour before the first run. A passionate fights ensued between Krzysztof Kasprzak and Janusz Kołodziej, Vaclav Milik and Peter Ljung or Anders Thomsen and Martin Vaculik.
With every heat, the competition was becoming more and more energetic. For local fans, the great form of Maksim Bogdanow was very important. It was a round of heroes, who are not to find on front pages every day. Joonas Kylmakorpi had shown his polished skills, and he did not seem to care whether he’s the best at the start or forced to chase his rivals on the track.
Before the round ended, you could find barely two heats which were relatively uneventful. The end was marked by run number 20, where victory could have been snatched by any one of these three riders – Hans Andersen, Krzysztof Kasprzak or Grigorij Laguta. Eventually, they arrived at the finish line in this exact order. It was a prologue for what was to see in play-offs and final.
Kylmakorpi was close to his historical triumph, being a leader ahead of Grigorij Laguta in the finals. The latter was chasing his rival for the long time, until he managed to pass Kylmakorpi on the third lap, staying close to the line. The podium was filled up by another Russian, Emil Sajfudtinow, who managed to advance to the final thanks to his play-offs result. The spectators were much moved by dangerous fall of Maksim Bogdanow.
Season 2016’s competition is a fantastic prologue and preview of what we’re going to see on August 18th. Latvians are surely going to prepare the track well for racing, and the fact that the European Champion title will be defended by their representative – Andzejs Lebedevs – is only adding fuel to the fire. After two rounds in Gniezno and Gustrow we’ll be halfway to the end and there will be no time and place for meticulous calculations!
III round Speedway Euro Championship, Daugavpils – August 18th