Nicki Pedersen and Leon Madsen are the riders with the highest number of points in SEC history. Both have won their titles in unusual circumstances and the way, how the three-time Individual World Champion got his gold deserves special attention.
In 2013 Nicki Pedersen began the SEC series as one of the main favorites to win the title. He confirmed his aspirations during the first round in Gdańsk, where he scored 12 points and took second place. The same result he got in Togliatti, where Emil Sayfutdinov won the meeting. Pedersen take part in the tournament in Gorican as vice-leader of the interim classification. Due to Emil's injury, which eliminated him from the remaining rounds, the Dane was defending his lead over rivals. After a solid performance in Croatia, Pedersen entered the final round of the SEC as the leader with a five-point lead. In the end, it was Martin Vaculik who took the gold medal, while the Dane had to settle for silver.
Nicki Pedersen's results in 2013:
Gdańsk - 2nd place - 12 pts
Togliatti - 2nd place - 12 pts
Gorican - 6th place - 10 pts
Rzeszów - 5th place - 10 pts
The second year of the competition in the new formula started similarly to the previous one. Sayfutdinov and Pedersen set the tone, and the Dane won the first two rounds - in Güstrow and Togliatti. His high score made him the leader of the interim classification of the series, but the key moment of SEC 2014 take place in Holsted, where unexpectedly Pedersen scored "only" six points and finished 10th. In the final round of the competition, which took place in Częstochowa, the Dane participated as the third rider in the interim classification and had to put more emphasis on defending his place than attacking the higher positions. In the end, Pedersen finished SEC 2014 with a bronze medal.
Nicki Pedersen's results in 2014:
Gustrow - 1st place - 14 pts
Togliatti - 1st place - 13 pts
Holsted - 10th place - 6 points
Częstochowa - 2nd place - 11 pts
In 2015 we witnessed another great battle for gold, with Sayfutdinov and Pedersen as the main actors. How fierce this duel was is best shown by the fact that both won two rounds of the competition each. Moreover, Pedersen scored 55 points - 15 more than in the season in which he became Individual European Champion. The Dane won in Toruń and Ostrow Wielkopolski, while the Russian won the rounds in Landshut and Kumla. While Sayfutdinov celebrated his second european title, Pedersen picked up another silver medal.
Nicki Pedersen's 2015 results:
Toruń - 1st place - 15 pts
Landshut - 2nd place - 14 pts
Kumla - 3rd place - 11 pts
Ostrów - 1st place - 15 pts
Minor point differences, the triumph of a rider who was ninth in the table before the final round and extra heats for medals - this is how the exciting SEC 2016 looked like. The series started in Güstrow, where the rainy tournament was ended after five series of starts. Despite scoring seven points, Nicki Pedersen was classified 12th. Even less successful for the Dane was the competition in Daugavpils, where with six points on account he took a distant position. It was much better in Togliatti. Pedersen had a satisfying meeting there and 10 points scored gave him 5th place. The final round of the Individual European Championships took place in Rybnik. It was difficult to point out the favorite to win, and certainly it was not the Dane, who was ninth in the interim classification of the series.
The competition at the ROW stadium had an unusual course, and Pedersen did his best. Three-time Individual World Champion was going from victory to victory, that combined with the leaders' slip-ups made him one step away to winning the gold. In the end, Pedersen scored 17 out of 18 possible points and became the Individual European Champion. The fact that the difference between the first and the seventh rider was only five points is the best indication of how close the series was.
The Dane got what he wanted and took the title. In four years he won four Speedway Euro Championship medals - one gold, two silver and one bronze.
Nicki Pedersen's results in 2016:
Gustrow - 12th place - 7 pts
Daugavpils - 12th place - 6 pts
Togliatti - 5th place - 10 pts
Rybnik - 1st place - 17 pts