The battle for this year's European Championship in speedway begins on Saturday night on the narrow track in north German Güstrow. But as a little brother to the World Cup Grandprix series, the European Championships have gained significantly greater weight and prestige, in recent years. For Danske Leon Madsen - currently leading the World Cup series - the 2018 European Triumph became his international breakthrough.
By Ib Søby
- No one has won the European Championship twice in a row. I would like to be the first to perform, says 30-year-old Leon Madsen despite the fact that he is also competing in the top of this year's World Cup drama in the Grandprix series.
- My European Championship victory last year really opened some doors for me, and ended up qualifying for the Grandprix series, and then a good 3-year contract with my Polish club Czestochowa. It tells something about how important the European Championship series has become, states Leon Madsen, who also experienced it as a bit of a pressure of becoming the European champion.
- I was met with the position that I had to prove something more than the European Championship title. But people should not be mistaken, because the field in the SEC consists of strong drivers, and with as many as five Danes on the field, there will also be motivation to put all competitors in place. I am ready, and drive from the idea that the others - Danish or foreign - must go out and fight to beat me, says Leon Madsen, who does not have the small track in Güstrow as a favorite.
- No, it's special enough, and the innermost starting gates aren't good, but I want to make as many points on Saturday as possible, and then look forward to the rounds in Torun, Vojens and Chorzow, which are better for me.
The Danes in the 2019 SEC
30 years, born in Vejle. European Champion 2019. Winner of the Warsaw World Cup Grand Prix 2019.
42 years, born in Odense. World Champion 2003, 2007, 2008. Four times Team World Champion. European Champion 2016
24 years, born in Nykøbing Falster. No. 4 European Championships 2018. U21 Team World Champion 2013
Michael Jepsen Jensen
27 years, born in Grindsted. Winner of the Nordic World Cup Grand Prix in Vojens 2012. Team World Champion 2012 and U21 World Champion 2012.
25 years, born in Odense. Silver winner European Championships pair 2018. Silver winner U21 World Cup 2015.
In addition to the five riders, Denmark receives a wild card for SEC Ovethi 3rd Division on August 10 in Vojens.
1. David Bellego, France
2. Jaroslaw Hampel, Poland
3. Kai Huckenbeck, Germany
4. Michael Jepsen Jensen, Denmark
5. Grigory Laguta, Russia
6. Robert Lambert, England
7. Antonio Lindbäck, Sweden
8. Leon Madsen, Denmark
9. Mikkel Michelsen, Denmark
10. Vaclav Milik, Czech Republic
11. Nicki Pedersen, Denmark
12. Pavel Przedpelski, Poland
13. Bartosz Smektala, Poland
14. Anders Thomsen, Denmark
15. Kasper Woryna, Poland
July 13, Güstrow, Germany
July 27, Torun, Poland
August 10th. Vojens, Denmark
September 28, Chrozow, Poland
SEC European champions
2012: Ales Dryml, Jr., Czech Republic
2013: Martin Vaculik, Czech Republic
2014: Emil Saytfudinov, Russia
2015: Emil Saytfudinov, Russia
2016: Nicki Pedersen, Denmark
2017: Andzejs Lebedevs, Latvia
2018: Leon Madsen, Denmark
From 2001 to 2011, the European Championships were organized by UEM with the following winners: Bohumil Brhel, Czech Republic, Magnus Zetterstrøm, Sweden, Kryzstof Kasprzak, Poland, Matej Zagar, Slovenia, Jesper B. Monberg, Denmark, Kryzstof Jablonski, Poland, Jurica Pavlic, Croatia, Matej Zagar, Slovenia, Renat Gafurov, Russia, Sebastian Ulamek, Poland and Grigory Laguta, Russia