The inauguration of this year's competition for the Individual European Championship is behind us. This season there are four Danes in the regular line-up and during the final round, starting the battle, representatives of this country clearly marked their presence, taking high places.
In the fight for the highest goals in the whole series, those who celebrated the championship title in the TAURON Speedway Euro Championship in recent years, could be named as favorites. The best rider in Europe in 2016 was Nicki Pedersen, after the final round in Rybnik. Also in Silesia, only this time in Chorzów, Leon Madsen celebrated the triumph two years later. In the 2019 season, after a tight and even fight with Grigorij Laguta at the Silesian Stadium, Mikkel Michelsen won gold medal. And these three riders can safely be named the main actors of the first final round, which took place on Saturday, 4th of July 4 on Torun’s Motoarena, named after Marian Rose.
The winner at the inauguration of this year's series was Leon Madsen. Motoarena is extremely lucky venue for this rider recently. In October last year, while he was still fighting for the title of Individual World Champion, he won the last round of the Speedway Grand Prix cycle with a maximum of 21 points. Over two months earlier he triumphed in the second last year's TAURON SEC final round. This time victory didn’t come easy. After a good start to the competition, he lost several points, which meant he had to fight for the pass to the final heat in the race-off. Finally, he was promoted together with Bartosz Smektała and in the last race of the day he passed the finish line first, beating Robert Lambert, Nicki Pedersen and Smektała. The mentioned fellow-countryman of Madsen finished a round in Toruń with a strong accent. Despite the third place in the final race, currently he has the most points in the general classification, together with the British Robert Lambert. Pedersen owes this to his good performance in the regular series of the meeting on Motoarena, in which he lost only with Timo Lahti and Smektała, going directly to the final.
Last year's champion Mikkel Michelsen was really close to be happy and race in the final heat. In the regular series, he mixed weaker heats with better ones and eventually had to fight for the final in the race-off. Unfortunately he passed the finish line behind the rivals, finishing the competition in 6th place with 10 points. The difference between him and the leading two is only four points, so we can certainly say that after the first round he is on one of good places in classification. The last of the Danes – Michael Jepsen Jensen – performed less well compared to his follow-countrymen. A former regular participant in the Speedway Grand Prix series can’t name his performance on Motoarena as a successful. Finally, he collected just three points, finishing the competition in a far 15th position. However, “Liglad” has shown many times that he can afford an equal fight with his rivals, who race in this year's TAURON SEC series, which is why he certainly hasn’t said the last word yet.
After the first final round of the Individual European Championships in the 2020 season we know one thing – representatives of Denmark should fight for high positions from the beginning to the end of the series. As soon as we add the fact that the final winner of TAURON SEC automatically takes a place in next year's Speedway Grand Prix series, this motivation is certainly important. Will the Danes present themselves well in the next final rounds and will rank high again? We will soon find out.