The Battle of Wroclaw

Just as Vojens Speedway Center is re-emerging in the international speedway landscape this year, the Olympic Stadium in Wroclaw has been undergoing major renovations and upgrades. Wroclaw, which has a bloody history, also has a long speedway tradition. Despite being adorned with Olympic rings, however, Olympic competitions have never been held at the stadium.

By Ib Søby

Wroclaw was one of Nazi Germany's last bastions before the Russian Red Army roared on toward the bombed Berlin. Commander Karl Hanke built a fortress of furniture and books from the city library, sent thousands of citizens and thousands of children - Hitlerjugend - in the certain death, in a desperate and futile attempt to hold "Festung Breslau". 170,000 civilians were killed before Hanke himself, in the cowardly fashion, stole a small private plane and fled away from the burning and ruined city. Hanke was later discovered by Czech partisans and shot.

Fortunately, the speedway battle on Saturday will not be as cruel and harsh, because sports are events that can create joy and joy across borders. But as a small parallel to the events of 1945, we just have to recognize that the Russians are currently sitting at the top of the international speedway. Emil Saytfudinov comes to Wroclaw as World Cup after, along with Polish Patryk Dudek and Danish Leon Madsen. Emil also repeated the Par World Cup triumph recently at home in Togliatti along with Cleb Chugunov and Artem Laguta. To make it a lie, Artem's big brother, Grigory Laguta, also won the first European Championship of the year.

The stadium itself was built in 1928 for the purpose of football. With the German takeover in 1939, the stadium was named after Field Marshal Herman Göring. After the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936, the Nazis imagined that the Third Reich would always host the Olympic Games, and had Wroclaw (Breslau) in play for some sports in 1940. As you know, it never became anything but the Olympic rings still adorn the stadium.

The tdl. Danish football coach Sepp Piontek was born in the city on March 5, 1940.

In the post-war period, the speedway entered the stadium and Wroclaw won many times silver and bronze in the Polish league before turning four times in gold in 1993, 1994, 1995 and 2006.

Photo: Wroclaw Tourist

Ole Olsen became number ten at the World Cup in 1970, the year before he became world champion, and in 1992 Gert Handberg won bronze in Wroclaw. Following the grand prix system's introduction in 1995, Tommy Knudsen, Bjarne Pedersen and Nicki Pedersen have been at the top of the podium in Wroclaw.  

In our time, the club's very big star is the double U21 world champion Maciej Janowski. However, 27-year-old Janowski has had a horrendous season of crashes and injuries. Most recently, things went awry during the Paralympics in Togliatti, but he expects to run for the World Cup in his hometown.

With the victory in Saturday's 2nd European Championship in Polish Torun, Danish Leon Madsen showed two things: He can withstand any expectation pressure, and he has it like a cat in a fish shop on large Polish courses. Leon has now enchanted the quite speedway world with great overhauls for several months. Even the worst critics must now see Leon Madsen as a very serious World Cup candidate.

Photo: BSI / IMG

Of course, he gets nothing wrong. Dudek, Saytfudinov, Zmarzlik and Vaculik are on the same level, but it helps a lot that Leon Madsen has actually become very popular in Poland. There are rumors that he may be seeking Polish citizenship, a bit like Norwegian Rune Holta in his heyday, but that's not something he wants to talk about publicly.

Niels Kr. Iversen had a disappointing Par World Cup and is struggling hard with himself and the team to find the final percentages. Fortunately, Iversen has a reputation for being a late-season bloomer - one who is best in the summer. Maybe the turning point comes in Wroclaw, whom he knows so well.

With Wroclaw, the season is halfway. U21 world champion Maksym Drabik has a wild card and referee is Swedish Krister Gardell.

The position

1. Emil Saytfudinov 47

2. Patryk Dudek 47

3. Leon Madsen 47

4. Bartosz Zmarlik 44

5. Martin Vaculik 44

6. Frederik Lindgren 42

7. Niels Kr. Iversen 32

8. Jason Doyle 30

9. Janus Kolodziej 29

10. Artem Laguta 27

11. Matej Zagar 27

12. Max Fricke 27

13. Maciej Janowski 24

14. Robert Lambert 24

15. Antonio Lindbäck 23

Grandprix winners in Wroclaw

1995 Tomasz Gollob, Poland

1996 Tommy Knudsen, Denmark

1997 Greg Hancock, USA

1999 Tomasz Gollob, Poland

2004 Bjarne Pedersen, Denmark

2005 Tony Rickardsson, Sweden

2006 Jason Crump, Australia

2007 Nicki Pedersen, Denmark

Twice, Wroclaw has hosted the individual World Cup. In 1970, New Zealander Ivan Mauger won, and in 1992 British Gary Havelock. In 1975, Swedish Anders Michaneck and Tommy Jansson won the Par World Cup, and seven times the stadium has added punches to the Hold World Cup. Poland prevailed in 1961 and 1966, while Britain took gold in 1971, 1977 and 1980. Australia won in 2001 and Poland in 2005.

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