The Danish Motor Union has announced that it will have a national qualifying competition for the SEC and SGP prior to the domestic season starting in the country. The qualifier will take place on 14 April at Korskro Motorcentrum, the home of Esbjerg Vikings, who have experienced riders like Nils Kristian Iversen in their squad for the 2021 season.
The Danish Metal Speedway league was unable to start at all in 2020 because of the Coronavirus, but is hoping to come to tapes for the first time on 21 April.
This year sees a return to their home country of all the nation’s top riders after a number of years where many of the elite competitors have chosen to race in other countries instead. This change may be the result of Ekstraliga’s ruling for 2021 that you may only compete in your home country and Poland. But whatever the reason, it means Danish fans will get to see more of the country’s riders up close and personal this season. That includes former SEC winners, Mikkel Michelsen (2019) and Nicki Pedersen (2016) who are on the rosters for Slangerup Speedway and Holsted Tigers, respectively.
One Danish rider who will not be competing in the Danish Metal league this year is Leon Madsen, who won the SEC in 2018. The 32-year-old joins a number of riders who have made the decision to only race in one national league, alongside any commitment to the European and World Championships. That list includes Tai Woffinden (GBR), Fredrik Lindgren (SWE), Emil Sayfutdinov (RUS) and Martin Vaculik (SLO).
Both Madsen and Michelsen will not need to qualify for the SEC 2021 because they finished in the top five in last year’s Championship. However, Nicki Pedersen was sixth and will, no doubt, be giving his all to win in Esbjerg in April.
Apart from the former winners, the qualifier should see some top racing as Anders Thomsen, Michael Jepsen Jensen and Peter Kildemand try to fight their way back into the competition where they have represented Denmark before. We could also see Kenneth Bjerre challenging to make his first appearance, as well as the young Marcus Birkemose, the current U21 European Champion, make it to his first ever senior event too.
The qualifier in Esbjerg is sure to be a hit with fans get to find out who will represent Denmark in the 2021 SEC and 2022 SGP. But perhaps even more exciting, it will be the first action on Danish shale for over 1.5 years since Team Fjelsted, with Anders Thomsen and Peter Kildemand leading the way, took a surprise victory in the four-team Superfinal to claim the Danish Metal league championship in September 2019.