2013-2020 SEC Summary: Poland

29.01.21
10:26
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The Polish national team from the beginning of the Speedway Euro Championship series, it means from 2013, has always had a large group of regular participants in the stake. Despite such a large presence, it didn’t result in medal achievements, which may be surprising, because riders from this country are always highly rated and members of authorities often repeat that PGE Ekstraliga is "the best league in the world". However, Poles have only won two medals in the SEC cycle so far. The first of them – bronze – was won in 2016 by Krzysztof Kasprzak. Two years later Jaroslaw Hampel took second place and hung a silver medal around his neck. Every year Polish fans could watch three, four or even five (2015) riders with regular numbers from their country in the series.

In the first season in which the fight for the title of the Individual European Champion was organized by One Sport, Poland had three regular participants in the stake. The highest in the final classification was Maciej Janowski with 33 points (6th place). One point less was scored by Tomasz Gollob, who in the series took one position lower than "Magic", but it must be remembered that he missed the last final round at the track in Rzeszów, because a week earlier in Stockholm he suffered a serious injury. Sebastian Ulamek finished the competition in 10th place with 22 points. Additionally in 2013 Krzysztof Kasprzak won final round in Goričan with “wild card” and thanks to 15 points he was 13th in the final classification. Grzegorz Zengota and Robert Miskowiak started in two final rounds and took 14th (15 points) and 17th (11 points) respectively. A year later four Poles fought for the title of the best rider in Europe. The closest to the podium was Janusz Kolodziej, who was fifth with 38 points. Tomasz Gollob was 9th with 27 points, Adrian Miedziński 11th (21 points) and Patryk Dudek 13th (16). However, the last of them appeared just in the first two final rounds, due to a later suspension.

The Polish fans couldn’t be happy from medal achievements of their rider's also in the 2015 season. Again Janusz Kolodziej was the best in the Speedway Euro Championship, he scored 33 points (4th place), but the loss to the podium was quite clear and amounted to 18 points. Next riders, starting in the white and red colors, didn’t play a major role in the competition. Przemyslaw Pawlicki took 8th place with 28 points and four positions lower in the final classification was placed by Piotr Protasiewicz (20). Tomasz Gollob scored only 18 points in the series, which meant that he finished 13th and Tomasz Jędrzejak took 16th place with 16 points. 2016 brought the first medal for the Polish representative. After a very even cycle, the differences were small, so Krzysztof Kasprzak had to fight for the second place in the additional heat with Václav Milík. The Czech turned out to be better than the Pole, so "Kasper" had to be satisfied with the bronze medal. However, both riders lost only 2 points (they scored 38) to the Nicki Pedersen (40), who was the best in the series. Kasprzak was in the final heat twice this season, taking 2nd place in Güstrow and 3rd in the last tournament in Rybnik. For the second year in a row Przemyslaw Pawlicki took 8th place with 33 points next to his name. The final performances weren’t too successful this time for Janusz Kolodziej, who was the best in the previous two years (11th place – 24 points).

In the 2017 season the best Pole was again Kasprzak, who ended the fight for the European Championship in 4th place with 39 points and lost five points to the podium. For the third year in a row Przemyslaw Pawlicki didn’t reach the top five, but these performances were the best for him so far – he was 6th with 34 points on his account. Mateusz Szczepaniak took one place lower (29 points) and Kacper Gomolski finished the cycle with 20 points on his account (13th place). In 2018 the Polish representative won the second and last medal in the Speedway Euro Championship so far. Thanks to the second place in the final classification Jarosław Hampel could enjoy silver. In the series he twice appeared in the final heats, winning the tournament in Gniezno and finishing the last final in Chorzów in 4th place. The rest of the Poles didn’t perform well – Kasprzak took the 11th place (24 points) and Piotr Pawlicki the 12th (20).

In 2019 as many as four Poles took places in the top 10 of the SEC series, but only two of them managed to secure a place for the next season. Kacper Woryna, who was so close to the bronze medal, can talk about a lot of bad luck. In the last final round at the Silesian Stadium in Chorzow, he lost the additional heat to Leon Madsen, finally taking 4th place (39 points). Bartosz Smektala (36 points) finished in the one position lower in the competition for the title of the best rider in Europe. Paweł Przedpelski took 8th place with 28 points next to his name and Jaroslaw Hampel (27) finished one place below. In the 2020 season, the coronavirus pandemic forced changes and all final tournaments were held in Poland. In these circumstances Bartosz Smektala, who scored 45 points in five tournaments (one more than before) and won the additional heat for 5th place with Nicki Pedersen at Motoarena in Torun, was the only Pole to stay in the cycle. Kacper Woryna collected 33 points, taking the 8th place, while Krzysztof Kasprzak finished with 25 points (12th place). In the context of the SEC cycle in the 2020 season, we should mention about Bartosz Zmarzlik. The two-time Individual World Champion scored 25 points, which is as many as Krzysztof Kasprzak, but he only appeared in two final rounds with a "wild card" and finally took 11th place in the final classification.

Since the beginning of the fight for the title of the best speedway rider in Europe as part of the Speedway Euro Championship series Poland has organized the most tournaments. In 2013-2020 as many as 17 final rounds were held in this country. In the first season it took place in Gdansk and Rzeszow, in 2014 Czestochowa was the organizer of the last final round, in 2015 riders competed in Torun and Ostrow Wielkopolski and a year later medals were awarded in Rybnik. In 2017 one of the final rounds was organized again in Torun and the last one was held in Lublin. In the following year the competition started in Gniezno and ended at the Silesian Stadium in Chorzow. Torun returned to the map of the series in 2019 and the medals were awarded again in Chorzow. The 2020 season was special due to the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the organizers to close the entire series in Poland. In this situation the final tournaments were held in Torun, Bydgoszcz, Gniezno, Rybnik and again in Torun. Emil Sajfutdinow won the first tournament in history in Gdansk, ahead of Nicki Pedersen and Tai Woffinden. The last of the final rounds of the Speedway Euro Championship series so far brought Robert Lambert's victory in Torun and Leon Madsen and Finn Timo Lahti took the places on the podium next to the Brit.

SEC News
18.05.21
DAVID BELLEGO – I’VE WORKED HARD ALL WINTER

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.

18.05.21
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.

18.05.21
SEC CHALLENGE: MET TOP CONTENDERS – DUDEK & BEWLEY

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.

13.05.21
MICHELSEN: THE FANS BRING OUT MY A-GAME

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.

07.05.21
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).

04.05.21
THE SEASON SO FAR FOR EUROPE’S TOP RIDERS

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.

Photos
30.07.2020
TAURON SEC 2020 Round 5: Toruń
24.07.2020
TAURON SEC 2020 Round 3: Gniezno
23.07.2020
TAURON SEC 2020 Round 4: Rybnik
09.07.2020
TAURON SEC 2020 Round 2: Bydgoszcz
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