The 19-year-old SES - Southern Jutland Elite Speedway driver has been very successful in the new French league for the past two months. Thus, Mads Hansen has given himself a solid edge over the season openings in Northern Europe. He is also one of the favorites for the U21 spot on the Danish speedway national team. 

By Ib Søby

Danish speedway fans primarily know French speedway for the traditions of the 1000 meter long track race. But in recent years, something has started to happen in the southwest corner of the wine and cheese-filled country. At the same time, French drivers such as David Bellego, Dimitri Bergé and the Tresarrieu brothers have started to create results outside their home country. Thus Mathieu Tresarrieu became France's first world champion at 1000 meters in 2017, a triumph that Dimitri Bergé repeated last year.

Three years ago, a group of French promoters introduced a new league consisting of four teams, and a short and intense season from February to April. Several foreign profiles such as British Chris Harris have found it attractive to participate, thus getting a good deal of running training before the British season got underway.

Of course, the new French league welcomes international glamor, and this year Mads Hansen from Skærbæk has been one of the league's very big profiles. He is a top scorer and has scored points for club Lamothe-Landarron Motul National Speedway League against Le Réole, Morizes and Mermande. The four clubs are all located in the Bordeaux area and are organized under the French motorcycle association FFM.

From Billund to Bordeaux

Mads Hansen's French connection got its start in the fall of 2019, with Lamothe-Landarron hosting the U21 European Cup final. Here the young Danish national team lost to the arch rivals from Poland, but Mads Hansen made a big impression on the French promoter Patrick Goret.

- They asked me if I wanted to join the league this year, and I immediately thought it could be a really good preparation for 2020, says Mads Hansen.

Photo: L. Laguibeau

In addition to SES - Southern Jutland Elite Speedway, he will run in Poland for the 2nd division club Oplole, and he is also on contract with Vestervik in the best Swedish league.

- The season in France is only a few months, so we drove the long trip down to Lamonthe-Landarron with bikes and gear. It has then gone down there, while we, for the matches, have flown back and forth between Billund and Bordeaux via Paris, says Mads Hansen, who in his French adventure has had his father Torben Hansen as a mechanic.

- Economically, it has only been possible to connect, but it has not been for the money's sake that I have driven for Lamothe-Landarron. It is one of my clear seasonal goals to join the Danish national team for this year's Speedway Of Nations - Par World Cup - where the compulsory U21 spot has become vacant following Frederik Jakobsen's promotion, says Mads Hansen, who has the worldwide shoe brand ECCO as sponsor.

The French league ends this weekend 14-15. March, where you also race for the open individual championship. However, this ending loses Mads Hansen in light of the outbreak of coronavirus.

- It is super annoying for Mads, but we simply cannot defend going to France, as the situation is right now, explains Torben Hansen, who, however, has been delighted with the son's success.

- He has been great on the French courses and we will be back again next year.

In the coach's searchlight 

In Northern Jutland, Danish coach Hans Nielsen has also kept an eye on Mads Hansen's distinguished French results.

- It is a strong initiative by Mads Hansen, and he is coming to the league starters in Denmark, Poland and Sweden after all in great form. I have also noted that Mads trains intensely with cycling, fitness and running, so overall he is a good bid for the U21 place on the national team, says Hans Nielsen, though without putting names on the upcoming Danish national team squad.

Together with assistant Henrik Møller, Hans Nielsen will take out the Danish national team by April 4, which on Saturday April 25 runs the World Cup semi-final in the German Landshut at Munich.

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