Mikkel Michelsen's victory ended the third round of the SEC series, which took place in Gdańsk. The Dane reached the finish line in the grand final ahead of his compatriot Leon Madsen, while Daniel Bewley finished third. Robert Lambert seemed the favorite to win for a long time, but the Briton weakened at the end of the competition and ultimately didn’t even got a spot on the podium.
For the second time in their history, the organizers of the European Championship came to Gdańsk. It seems that this was a sentimental return, because it was in this city, eight years ago, that the event began playing in a new formula, still valid today. The track in Gdańsk did not spoil the fans in recent days, but this time it was not possible to complain about boredom.
Already the first series of starts delivered a lot of emotions, because it did not lack hard and impressive driving. In the second heat, Smektała and Madsen first dealt with Pawlicki, and then fought to the very end for victory. The same was true in the third race, where after the start Pieszczek (wild card) was leader, but first he was overtaken by Lambert and just at the finish line was caught by Lebedev. In the race of the fourth deffensive action, however, Pedersen, who without pardon stopped the speeding Logatchev. However, it later became apparent that the Dane would not continue to participate in the competition due to health problems.
The second series of starts did not bring as many passes, but in the fifth heat Bewley attacked the leader Lambert, and in the sixth race Michelsen pressed Huckenbeck in the fight for two points. Dudek for sure felt relieved, when after being excluded in the first, he could add three to his account. Much more cause for concern, however, had the leader of the general classification Piotr Pawlicki, who did not seem too fast and lost valuable points. After eight heats, Lambert became the independent leader. The Briton was the only one undefeated. It may come as a surprise that at the top of the standings there were Lebedev and Milik, who were not very effective in the previous two rounds. The fans probably liked that in the "general" there was a lot of squeeze, because behind the leading Lambert we had a large group of riders with three or four points in the account.
Lambert confirmed his good form in the third series. The European champion overtook Smektała with an impressive attack and could still catch a set of points for his account. In the general classification, the Briton has developed quite a large advantage over his rivals and behind his back it got even tighter than before, because as many as nine riders had six or five points. This time Lebedev and Milik didn’t do so well. Pawlicki and Madsen woke up, recorded their first threes and showed that they still intend to count in the fight for high places. It is worth mentioning that another victory was also noted by Dudek, thus confirming that the exclusion at the very beginning of the competition, couldn’t knock him out of rhythm.
In the fourth series of starts, Hansen was close to defeating Lambert unexpectedly, but just before the finish, the Briton showed off another pleasing attack and recorded his fourth consecutive three. After another poor run, Lebedev and Milik left, while Bewley knocked to the forefront and after the previous two deuces he took the first run victory. At this stage of the competition, it was possible to get the impression that Michelsen and Madsen were growing stronger, while Dudek and Smektała weakened a bit. Competing for direct promotion to the finals and the right to start in the play-off race was exciting, as it counted as many as seven riders.
In the last series of starts, Lambert lost the first points, which was defeated by Michelsen and Pawlicki. However, this did not prevent him from winning the main round and making it to the grand final. Next to him in the most important race of the day also Michelsen checked in. Madsen, Dudek, Smektała and Bewley broke through to the play-offs. The most disappointed after twenty runs was probably Pawlicki, who accumulated the same number of points as the Poles and the Briton, but had a worse balance and had to come to terms with the fact that he will no longer repair his account.
The play-off actually settled shortly after the starting tape was released. Very fast in the second phase of the competition Madsen jumped out first from the start and rushed for victory. Bewley was not at risk behind him. Just in this run, the Poles did not start a fight and could only watch as with each subsequent lap their rivals increasingly move away.
In the final, Michelsen and Madsen played against their British rivals and fought an exciting battle to win. In the end, Michelsen was the first of them, but at a distance he had to get a little tired to overtake his compatriot. Bewley finished third, and Lambert had to say goodbye to the podium after a great main round.
After three rounds, ex aequo Michelsen and Pawlicki are at the forefront of the SEC's general classification, while Madsen lurks behind them with two points in the loss. This promises a very exciting fight for gold in the final round, which will take place on July 10th in Rybnik.