The TAURON SEC 2023 season was a successful one for Andzejs Lebedevs. The Latvian returned to the top of the TAURON SEC after years of competition, finishing last year's edition in fifth place. In an interview, he summed up last year and revealed his plans for the coming months.
Despite finishing the series in a place promoted by riding in the TAURON SEC 2024, the Latvian does not hide his dissatisfaction with his result. What could he improve and what is his goal for the upcoming tournaments?
- I finished the competition in the TAURON SEC 2023 series with the same number of points as Patryk Dudek. The goal was to win a medal, but it fell a little short of that. Not each of the four rounds went my way, especially the inaugural competition in Częstochowa, where only the beginning was successful for me. Ahead of me is the new season in which I will try to improve my results. My goal is to finish the upcoming cycle on the podium and I will do everything to make it happen," said Lebedevs.
By far the best round for the Latvian was the one held in Güstrow. His victory in the last-chance run allowed him to advance to the final, which he finished in third place. Lebedevs stood on the podium of the SEC round for the first time in six years. How does the athlete himself recall this competition?
- It was a really great feeling to be able to stand on the podium of the Individual European Championship round after so many years. It's a special thing for me to win and add another trophy to my collection, and it's also a motivation to keep working hard. I will have something to remember in my sporting retirement," he admits.
The coming year will be a landmark year for him. After a few years in the team of Krosno Wolves the Latvian decided to move to Leszno. What was the reason behind this decision? Lebedevs points out that starting in PGE Ekstraliga is a great opportunity for him to develop.
- With the end of the season I decided to end my cooperation with the team from Krosno. I will have very fond memories of the three years I spent in that team. In recent times I have shown with my riding that my place is in the PGE Ekstraliga and that is where I would like to continue my career. During the winter I received a few offers to ride in the highest competition class and finally I chose the proposal from Leszno. This is the direction that suits me best at the moment. I really like the Leszno oval and I'm happy that next year I will be able to race and train there more often. This will be the key to increase my sporting value. I expect a lot from myself in terms of riding in the Polish league," he said.
The final round of the TAURON SEC 2024 will take place at the Silesian Stadium. Lebedevs had the opportunity to compete at the Chorzów stadium in 2018. He scored three points in five starts and placed fifteenth. The 2017 European champion makes no secret of the fact that he is looking forward to the spectacle that will take place on 21 September. What memories does he have of fighting in the “Witches' Cauldron”?
- I have read a lot about the city and I know that speedway has a rich history there. As for my starts at the Silesian Stadium, I remember them well. It's a huge venue and of course I would like the fans to fill it on 21 September. The track was long and hard to ride. In this aspect, I think the organisers will rise to the challenge and do their best to provide a top-level spectacle for the spectators as well as the riders. I am looking forward to the competition at the Silesian Stadium, as well as the start of the new season," concluded Lebedevs.