2013-2020 SEC Summary: Russia

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Russia is another country, which achieved a victory in the Speedway Euro Championship. Riders from this country in eight years of competition in the series won two gold medals, to which they added two silver and two bronze. In 2013-2020 Russian representatives have always participated in the fight for the title of European champion. Two Russians defended their country's colors in the SEC cycle for six seasons and three time it was three riders. They won each of their medals in a different year, which meant that they weren’t on the final podium in only two seasons.

When the SEC series made its debut in the calendar of international events, Russia was represented by Grigorij Laguta and Emil Sayfutdinov. The first of them achieved a better final result, winning the bronze medal with 42 points, losing two points to Nicki Pedersen and five points to Martin Vaculík, who became the champion. The elder of the Laguta brothers was on the podium twice this season and it took place in Togliatti (2nd place) and Rzeszow (3rd place). Sayfutdinov finished the cycle in 9th place with 27 points, but it was very unlucky. He won the first two final rounds in Gdansk and Togliatti and he couldn’t participate in the last two, due to an injury he suffered in Torun. A year later this rider again presented himself very well, triumphing in the Speedway Euro Championship series. He won the gold medal thanks to 54 points on his account and he raced in the final heats three times – he was second in the tournament in his country (Togliatti), third in Holsted and fourth in Czestochowa. Grigorij Laguta finished the cycle in 12th place with 17 points, but due to an injury he only raced in the final round in Czestochowa, where he won.

Sayfutdinov's good run of luck continued in 2015. This time he scored 58 points, defended the title of the Individual European Champion and is the only rider, who managed to do this in the SEC cycle so far. The victory in the series was the result of very good performances, he appeared on the podium three times, taking third place in Torun and winning the final rounds in Landshut and Kumla. In that year two fellow-countrymen of Sayfutdinov raced in the cycle – Grigorij Laguta was sixth (30 points) and his younger brother Artem was seventh (28 points). 2016 was the first season in which the Russians missed the SEC's final podium. Grigorij Laguta collected 37 points on his account and in an even season it allowed him to take fourth place, one point behind second Václav Milík and third Krzysztof Kasprzak and three to the Nicki Pedersen, who won the title. After two championship seasons Emil Sayfutdinov finished the SEC series in 7th place with 35 points to his name.

2017 was the second year when three Russians were in the list of regular participants. However, Grigorij Laguta only raced in one final round (due to a suspension) and with 9 points he finished in 19th place. On the other hand, his brother Artem did very well, winning the silver medal, collecting 45 points and losing seven to the European champion Andzejs Lebedevs. The younger Laguta raced in the final heats twice – he won the competition in Güstrow and was third in Lublin. The third Russian in the list of regular participants was Andrey Kudryashov, who took 9th place (26 points). In the 2018 none of the Russian representatives stood on the podium for the second time – Emil Sayfutdinov scored 39 points and took 6th place, while Andrey Kudryashov again collected 26 points next to his name, which allowed him to take 10th place.

In the last two years Russia was again represented in the Speedway Euro Championship by Grigorij Laguta and Kudryashov. In 2019 the first of them was very close to winning the gold medal. Finally, together with Mikkel Michelsen, he collected 45 points, but the Dane turned out to be better in the additional heat. That season Laguta made two performances in the final heats, winning the tournament in Güstrow and taking the 2nd place on the podium in Torun. Kudryashov appeared on the track as a reserve of the cycle only once – in Vojens he scored 5 points and took 23rd place in the final classification. In the pandemic 2020 season, the elder Laguta did well again in the five final tournaments in Poland, managed to collect 52 points and hang a bronze medal around his neck. Hoever, the loss to the other places on the podium was quite clear – respectively 12 points to the second Leon Madsen and 14 to the Individual European Champion, Robert Lambert. The Russian started in three final heats and it took place in Bydgoszcz (2nd place), Rybnik and Gniezno (twice 3rd place). Kudryashov raced poorly and finished in the far 16th position (21 points).

Three final rounds of the Speedway Euro Championship series have been organized in Russia so far. All of them were held in Togliatti in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Emil Sayfutdinov won in the first tournament, ahead of Nicki Pedersen and Grigorij Laguta. A year later Pedersen and Sayfutdinov swapped places and Patryk Dudek was the third. The 2016 season brought the victory of Grigorij Laguta and next to him on the podium stood the second Antonio Lindbäck and the third Leon Madsen.

SEC News

Frenchman David Bellego is no stranger to the Speedway Euro Championship having appeared in the finals for the last two years. But to make it three years in a row he will need to qualify through this weekend’s SEC Challenge which take place at Pardubice, Czech Republic.

PATRICK HANSEN: Pardubice is one of my favourite tracks

Danish rider, Patrick Hansen, will be 23 yrs later this year and is enjoying an impressive start to his 2021 season. He represents Grinsted KS Liga in Denmark, Avesta Masarna in Sweden and Arged Malesa Ostrow in Poland’s eWinner 1 league. In fact, he top-scored in Ostrow’s opening match and was undefeated in their match against Gniezno which was cut short due to bad weather. But the highlight so far occurred on 14 April in Esbjerg, Denmark. That night he surprised many by winning the Danish SGP/ SEC qualifier. It was not only the way he did it that caught people’s attention – he won 4 out of 5 heats – but the riders he beat, including Mikkel Michelsen, Kenneth Bjerre, Jonas Jeppesen and Marcus Birkemose who are all signed with Ekstraliga clubs this year.


This year’s TAURON SEC is almost upon us and this weekend we will see five qualifiers go through from the SEC Challenge being held in Pardubice. The majority of the riders have already been racing in Poland’s first and second divisions. Here we can take a brief look at the form of two of the riders who have been racing in Ekstraliga before one of their most important races of the season.


For fans of the SEC, Mikkel Michelsen will be a familiar name - this year will be the fourth year in a row the Danish rider has competed in the European Championships. And with two fourth places and a win in 2019, the 26-year-old is looking for a podium finish.

Starting list for SEC Challenge in Pardubice

Pardubice will host SEC Challenge 2021. The competition will take place on 22nd of May. 16 riders will fight for five places, which will qualify them to the finals of Speedway Euro Championship 2021. The series will take place in Bydgoszcz (12.06), Güstrow (26.06), Gdansk (03.07) and Rybnik (10.07).


The Ekstraliga has now been running for one month in Poland and that gives us the first chance to look at our five finalists for this year’s Speedway Euro Championship.

All five riders have raced in all four of the rounds so far, except for Częstochowa’s Leon Madsen and Bartosz Smektala who had their away match against Gorzow cancelled due to bad weather forecast.

We will look at each rider in turn based on their heat average in Ekstraliga so far.

TAURON SEC 2020 Round 5: Toruń
TAURON SEC 2020 Round 3: Gniezno
TAURON SEC 2020 Round 4: Rybnik
TAURON SEC 2020 Round 2: Bydgoszcz
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