Geer glad he was tough on riders

Bjarne Pedersen

Bjarne Pedersen

First published in Sport by

Trevor Geer has urged rival tracks to be tough on riders who want to miss league meetings – or suffer the consequences.

The Eastbourne Eagles boss sends his side out against a Coventry Bees team missing Hans Andersen to Speedway Euroepan Championship action tonight (7.30pm).

Eagles would also be missing their top scorer Bjarne Pedersen and young hotshot Mikkel Micheslen had they not persuaded them to put those ambitions on hold.

The SEC circuit is seen as a rebel competition by British speedway bosses, who do not allow like-for-like replacement for riders who miss league fixtures to take part in it.

So, when Bees send out a weaker side than normal at Arlington, Geer will have no sympathy.

He said: “There seem to be fewer riders around this year to take guest bookings, which is a problem for all of us.

“But teams can’t moan when they have riders away in the European Championship.

“They all knew the situation and planned for it before the season started.

“We knew Bjarne was desperate to do the European Championship. I know Peter Karlsson at Lakeside was the same.

“It was hard to tell Bjarne he couldn’t do it because it is quite lucrative but he put us first and that shows his commitment.

“My concern from our point of view is the attendance will be hit by riders not being there.

“I still think we will see some good racing and we have Lewis Bridger riding for us. He always helps bring a few through the gate with his do or die style.”

Both teams will be missing a rider to the World Championship GP in Tampere, Finland.

Joonas Kylmakorpi, whose parents are Finnish, was awarded the wild card for the first GP in the country so Bridger takes his place in the Eastbourne team.

Bees bring in Adam Skornicki for his fourth visit already this year to Arlington. He replaces regular Chris Harris.

Pedersen is coy about how much income he has sacrificed by opting out of the European Championship.

He said: “I chose to be there for my club. I haven’t even looked at what kind of money you get from the European Championship.

“I was interested in doing it because of the type of meetings.

“Whatever others decide to do is up to them.

“All I’ll be thinking of at Eastbourne is getting three points, whoever I’m up against.”

Eagles: Pedersen, Lahti, Bridger, Woodward, Michelsen, Blackbird, Halsey.

Coventry (possible): Guest for Andersen, Howarth, Fisher, Hansen, Skornicki, Nielsen, Sargeant.

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