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EKSTRALIGA: Wroclaw win league in 2021

Final 2 #WROLUB

Sparta Wroclaw were the favourites coming into tonight's second final at their home track against a Motor Lublin side that had forced a 45:45 draw in the last heat in Lublin on Thursday.

The visitors were again without Grigory Laguta and raced with Rider's Replacement for the Russian.

A brilliant match saw Lublin appear to just have the edge over the home side in the first half of the contest. They took the lead three times only to see the home side fight back and draw level.

Mikkel Michelsen (13) and Dominik Kubera (10+2), who both took seven heats each, who again lead out Lublin with great performances.

But the descive heats of the match were the last three before the nominations.

Wroclaw won three heat advantages in a row as Gleb Chegunov (4), Artem Laguta (pictured) and Daniel Bewley (10) all won Heats 11-13 respectively to take a 43:35 lead - enough to win the championship with two heats to spare. It was younger of the Laguta brothers, who currently leads the World Championship, who top scored for his side with 13 pts. He won his first four heats only dropping points after the title was secured, more than making up for a poor performance in Lublin on Thursday.

The match finished 50:40 to Sparta and the club has won the league for the the first time for 15 years, whilst for Lublin it was their first medal for 30 years.

You can see the individual scores at Zuzelend.

Bronze medal match #GORLES

In today's earlier third and fourth playoff, Bartosz Zmarzlik's Stal Gorzow took the bronze medal ahead of Unia Leszno. The double world champion was the team's top scorer with 14 from five races.

See full scores from Zuzelend.

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EWINNER 1 and 2: Convincing home wins in Final 1s

EWINNER 2 #LANOPO 52:38

At the beginning of the season AC Landshut would, at best, be considered as outsiders for winning Poland’s third tier. But now, after a demolition of Opole in Germany, the side as are just 39 points from an amazing upset.

The German side has been strong at home this season and
whilst Kai Huckenbeck (9+1) and Martin Smolinski (11+4) played their part , it was Frenchman, Dimitri Berge (pictured) who led Landshut to victory with 14.

For the stunned visitors bringing in Matuesz Tonder from Zielona Góra did not have the desired effect as he scored just 3 pts and it was again Swede, Jacob Thorssell who top scored with 9 pts.

It will now take an exceptional performance at home next week from Opole if the Polish side are to win. It’s possible, but at the moment it is the Germans who have one hand on the Polish league 2 trophy.

Full scores from Zuzelend.

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EWINNER 1 #OSTKRO 60:30

When the two teams that finished top in the regular season met in the final 1 today, no one could have predicted that the home side, Ostrow, would attempt to gain promotion even before the second leg has started!

The Wilki Krosno dream of going straight from League 2 to the Ekstraliga in just one season looks in tatters as even the league’s second best scorer, Tobiasz Musielak struggled with just 6+1 for the guests.

Ostrovia, on the otherhand, made full use of their home advantage with the international trio of Tomas Gapinski (14), Patrick Hansen (12+1) and Oliver Berntzon (11+2) all scoring double points as they routed the Wolves, 60:30.

As in today's eWinner 2 match, it seems almost impossible that today's visitors will be able to turn this fixture around next week. So, it seems like Ostrovia have one foot in the top division for 2022.

Full scores from Zuzelend.

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EKSTRALIGA: Dominant Kubera as Lublin force draw in Final 1

This Ekstraliga Final 1 was rescheduled from Sunday where rain in Lublin prevented the match against favourites, Wroclaw going ahead. And even tonight there were showers and umbrellas a-plenty as the tie took place in a damp Lublin with the home side using Riders' Replacement for the injured Grigory Laguta.

However, it was Wroclaw who started best with a 2:4 in the first heat. And whilst there was little overtaking until the first track grading pause, it always seemed like the black-yellow-red visitors who were the ones in the ascendency. They went into the break just two points ahead. But with the home side's Mikkel Michelsen (12) losing his first heat and junior, Wiktor Lampart (3) also scoring 0 pts on his first heat against senior opposition, it looked like Sparta might be about to walk this match home.

Not surprisingly in a match of this cailbre, there were a large number of 3:3 heats. However, it was the British pairing of Daniel Bewley (10+1) and Tai Woffinden (7) who finally extended the visitors' lead when they gained a 2:4 in Heat 11, damping the enthusiasm of already soaking home crowd.

Wroclaw then held this four point lead to go into the evening's final heat ahead by 40:44.

Then, at the crucial time, the 2021 European Champion, Michelsen gated perfectly, ably followed by the home team's rider-of-the-night, Dominik Kubera (pictured). The pair lead out of turn one, refused to let Maciej Janowski (11+1) spoil the party, and took an epic 5:1 to level the scores at 45:45. Lublin's 2020 Junior World Championship Silver Medallist top scored with an impressive 16+1 from 7 heats.

Understandably, the riders and fans alike went completely wild, celebrating this last home game of the season as though they had already won the championship.

Both teams will now go to Wroclaw with a sense that they can win the title. But surely Wroclaw's SGP riders, Woffinden and Artem Laguta (5+1) will do better than scoring 12 pts between them at home and will probably still be the bookies favourites to take the 2021 Ekstraliga title on Sunday.

Full scores from Zuzelend.

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ALLSVENSKAN: Indianerna win 2021 title

#INDGRI Kumla Indianerna vs Nyköping Griparna

Last week In Nyköping the defending champions from the last Allsvenskan 2019 hosted a tight match that ended 45:45 meaning it was all to play for in Final 2 in Kumla tonight.

And after 7 heats there was still a stalemate with the scores locked at 21:21.

But two heats later the home fans were treated to the night’s only 5:1 as Joel Andersson (11, pictured) and Jonatan Grahn (9+1) beat their Nyköping rivals to the checkered flag.

The match was still in within Griparnas grasp as the nomination heats started, but with the Kumla side leading 44:40 with the final heat things seem to be in the hosts favour.

And whilst the league’s top scoring rider, Griparna’s Kim Nilsson (15+2) took three points his teammate, Peter Ljung (12), never got off the start line as his engine stopped - sadly, typical of the veteran’s season.

That left Andersson and Grudziadz’s Norbert Krakowiak (13+1) to take second and third unchallenged to win the match 47:43 and with that, the 2021 Allsvenskan title, 92:88.

Officially this team is Kumla Indianerna B. There, however, will not be two Kumla teams in Elitserien in 2022 as there is no promotion/ demotion between the two leagues again this year.

Full scores from SVEMO.

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ELITSERIEN: Dackarna and Rospiggarna through to semis

The winners in tonight’s matches will go forward to the semi final next week where they will face either Eskilstuna Smederna or Västervik Speedway.

Both Målilla Dackarna and Hallstvik Rospiggarna went into tonight’s deciding Quarterfinal 2 with a six-point advantage from the first match last week after winning 48:42.

Again, Vetlanda Speedway were without their three Ekstraliga riders, as Gorzow’s Bartosz Zmarzlik and Syzmon Wozniak as well as Lublin’s Dominik Kubera stayed in Poland.

However, Gislaved Lejonen had both Robert Lambert and Jakub Miskowiak back in the side who were fighting to stay in the playoffs away in Målilla.

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Dackarna 56:34 Lejonen #DACLEJ

Unlike Vetlanda, Dackarna lined up with three SGP riders, Tai Woffinden, Maciej Janowski (5+3) and Jason Doyle for the second week in a row against Lejonen. And four Heat wins in a row from Woffinden, Doyle and two from Jacob Thorssell meant the home team were winning 16:8 before Heat 5 had even begun.

To make it worse for Lejonen, their Swedish riders, Oliver Berntzon (3) and Linus Eklöf (0) struggled to get into the match at all. The SGP rider has a problem with his bike and rode through the tapes on his second heat. Then he was thrown out the third heat for a regular Touch the Tapes. His next Heat after that he came last. Eklöf failed to score from his two heats.

By contrast, for the home team everything went smoothly as Woffinden (13, pictured), Thorssell (12+2) and Doyle (12) led the team easily to the semi-final next week.

Full scores from Zuzelend

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Vetlanda 43:47 Rospiggarna #VETSROS

Rospiggarna’s Timo Lahti (10+1) and Kai Huckenbeck (9+2) won the first heat away at Vetlanda with a 1:5 forcing the home side to chase right from the start. When the home team’s veteran Swede, Peter Ljung (1), stopped dead in turn 3 of Heat 9, you had a feeling that this match was never going to go the home team’s way.

Polish duo, Tomas Gapinski (13) and Runa Holta (10+3) top scored for the home side and won the final heat with a 5:1. But it was too late to beat the Hallstavik team who also had an in-form Kim Nilsson (12) alongside the Finnish and German riders and sailed easily through the next week’s semi-final.

Full scores available from Zuzelend.

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EKSTRALIGA: Gorzow lead in 3rd and 4th playoff

Last year's finalists met today in the first round of the 3rd and 4th playoff matches, the only league speedway that took place in Poland this weekend.

As whereas last year it was today's hosts, Leszno, who won the 2020 championship today it was the visitors, Gorzow who have the upper hand after winning away from home 41:49.

Last year's runners up took control of the match from the very first heat when Martin Vaculik (9+1), who was returning from injury, won a 1:5 together with Simon Wozniak (4+2), whilst the home side's Emil Sayfutdinov had to be content with just 1 point from the heat. Last in that opening heat was the U21 World Champion, Jaimon Lidsey.

The Russian and Australian were both below their usual best today, scoring just 2 points a piece. Instead it was Australian SGP rider, Jason Doyle (12+1) and the experienced Pole, Janusz Kolodziej (11+1) who kept the team in the match. 16 year old, Damian Ratajczak, was probably the home side's rider of the day scoring a phenomenal 7+3 from the #7 position.

The visitors benefited from the return of Vaculik, but their other SGP riders, Anders Thomsen (12+1, pictured) and double World Champion, Bartosz Zmarzlik (12) also put up "top drawer" performances. If all three repeat this next week at home in Gorzow then they will take home the third place and get revenge on the Ekstraliga's fallen heroes, Unia Leszno.

Full match score available from Zuzelend.

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METAL LEAGUE: Holsted win Superfinale

It has been two years since the last Superfinale in the Danish Metal League. But tonight, after the 2020 season was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Holsted Tigers were crowned 2021 Metal League champions.

All-star cast

The four-team match featured a number of well known riders from Ekstraliga. It was Anders Thomsen's SES who were the hosts at Vojens Speedway Center and the three other teams were:

Slangerup Speedway including, Mikkel Michelsen

Holsted Tigers including Nicki Pedersen, pictured

Team Fjelsted including Jonas Jeppesen).

No back-to-back win

However, it became clear early on in the night that Fjelsted were not going to be picking up the trophy for a second time following their surprise success in 2019. When we had reached Heat 15, four of their five riders had failed to complete one of their heats.

Only two teams in it

That left space for the hosts, SES, and Holsted Tigers to go toe-to-toe with Nicki Pedersen's team taking an early lead in Heat 3 with the home team just slightly behind them.

At the half way point the scores were: Holsted 23, SES 21, Slangerup 12 and Fjelsted 10.

Three teams going for gold

And whilst onlookers might have expected that this was now just a two horse race, Michelsen's Slangerup finally sprung into life as the 2021 European Champion, Australian, Rohan Tungate (7) and Andreas Lyager (10) all won heats in the second half of the evening.

It meant that before the nominate heats there was all to play for with just six points separating the top three teams: Holsted 36, Slangerup 31, SES 30 and Fjelsted 17.

Surprise star

However, the Tigers needed just one of those heats to secure the 2021 Metal League Championship. That's because in the first nomination heat, Rene Bech (11) beat no less than three riders from eWinner 1 League - Nicolai Klindt (7), Tungate and Dimtri Berge (1)- to secure the victory for his side.

The final heat saw the victors' three times world champion, Nicki Pedersen, beat Ekstraliga rivals, Thomsen and Michelsen (10) making him and Thomsen the top scorers on the night with 14 pts from 6 heats.

Individual scores are available at the DMU website, but the final team scores were:

Holsted - 42

SES - 37

Slangerup - 34

Fjelsted - 19

Pedersen's triumph

The win marks the end of a remarkable season for the 44 year old Dane. He had a good run in the Ekstraliga, finishing with a 2.029 heat average putting him in 12th place in the individual rankings. However, his team, Grudziadz, only avoided relagation in the last match of the season. Pedersen himself was banned for six months by the Danish Motor Union, meaning he would not have participated in either Grudziadz's last minute escape nor this Superfinale. It was only after his lawyers manage to suspend the case, which relates to threatening and unsportsmanlike conduct in a Metal League match, that the veteran has been able to race.

Pedersen's supreme quality has shone through and both Grudziadz and Holsted will look back at their 2021 season knowing that the three times World Champion was the game changer. The question remains open as to what the DMU and rider's lawyers will decide when they finally meet up and how much of Pedersen we will see in 2022.

(Photo is Nicki Pedersen celebrating the 2020 Elitserien win with Avesta Masarna).

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ALLSVENSKAN: Dead heat in Final 1

#GRIIND

After a two year wait because the 2020 season was cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak, it was finally time for an Allsvenskan final again.

Tonight's hosts and defending champions from 2019 were Nyköping Griparna. They finished third in the regular season table and provided a shock win in the semis over first placed Hagfors Valsarna. That victory was gained through a brilliant first leg semi-final in Nyköping.

So, there were high expectations when they hosted Indianerna B tonight. The Kumla side got the final having finished in second place in the regular season and had won a tight semi-final against Team Rapid.

In tonight's match Griparna had the perfect start with four heat advantages in the first six heats to lead the match 24:12 and looked set to overwhelm their opposition, just as they had done two weeks ago against Valsarna.

However, in Heat 7, Indianerna were able to bring in a tactical substitution when Ludvig Lindgren replaced the struggling Christoffer Selvin (2+1). Lindgren, together with Joel Andersson (12+2), helped the visitors to win their first 1:5. (Lindgren would top score for his side with 15 points from six rides by the end of the evening).

But it was not until two further 1:5 heats on either side of the last track grading break that home fans started to be worried that they might not go to Kumla with a lead after all.

The visitors' Grudziadz rider, Norbert Krakowiak (8+1) and experienced Swede, Andersson did the damage in Heat 12. And then teammates' Hugo Lundahl (4) and Selvin repeated the feat in the following heat. That turned a 12 point deficit around to a 39:39 draw and the momentum was suddenly with the visitors.

So, when Griparna's leading rider, Kim Nilsson (pictured), crossed the finish line in first place in Heat 15, the crowd were not quite as excited as you might have expected to see the 31 year old take yet another 15 point maximum. Whereas for the visitors, they had turned a defeat around to a 45:45 draw and will go to next week's match in Kumla with the confidence that they can win the 2021 Allsvenskan.

Full scores from Svemo's webpage.

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ELITSERIEN -QF1: Dackarna and Rospiggarna take 6 pts lead

Quarterfinals but many stars missing

Tonight, in Sweden there were just two matches as the playoffs started with the quarterfinals.

But again, there was a lot of discussion in the fans’ group as several riders who are in the Ekstraliga were not available including Bartosz Zmarzlik, Dominik Kubera, Syzmon Wozniak for Vetlanda and Robert Lambert and Jakub Miskowiak for Lejonen. The Swedish clubs blame the Polish sides saying they are preventing their riders come to Sweden.

However, for Dackarna all three of their SGP riders were available causing debate as to whether the Swedish clubs can actually afford these expensive riders on their rosters.

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Lejonen 42:48 Dackarna

#LEJDAC full scores from Zuzelend

Dackarna had a much stronger team on paper than their hosts when the two teams met tonight in Gislaved. Whilst Lejonen had to use Riders’ Replacement for Robert Lambert, their other SGP rider, Oliver Berntzon continued his good form from Poland at the weekend where he scored a maximum. Tonight he as the match's top scorer with 14 from six rides.

However, in a close match that included nine 3:3 heats, it was the visitors from Målilla who were able to get ahead. It was the Wroclaw pairing of Maciej Janowski (11) and Tai Woffinden (12+1) who took Dackarna second 5:1 in Heat 12 against Mattias Thörnblom (7+3) and Rohan Tungate (7+1) helping to give the visitors the lead and the home side could not match them. But it was there other SGP rider, Jason Doyle (pictured) ho seemed unstoppable with a maximum 12 points from his first four heats.

It means that Dackarna will now be favourites to win the Quarterfinal in the return match next week in Målilla.

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Rospiggarna 48:42 Vetlanda

#ROSVETS full scores from Zuzelend

Vetlanda clearly missed their three top riders, whilst the home side were able to put out a full team including Patryk Dudek (7+1), Kim Nilsson (10) and Kai Huckenbeck (7). And it was Dudek, together with Timo Lahti, who won Heat 1 by 4:2 to take the lead from the very start. And it was the Finn who rides with a Swedish licence who would top score for the hosts with 13

Vetlanda were unable to catch up with the Hallstavik side and were always behind by at least 2 points. But a strong team performance kept the visitors in the match, with Norwegian-Polish veteran, Rune Holta, top scoring with 8+2.

In the end it finished 48:42 to Rospiggarna, but Vetlanda will probably feel they have a chance at home next week – if they can have a full team against the side from Hallstavik.

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POLAND: 2021s League finalists now known

This weekend saw the second semi-finals in all three of Poland's speedway leagues meaning we now know the finalists for the 2021 season. We will take them in the order the results were known.

EWINNER 2

Landshut will made a historic first appearance in the League 2 final where they will face Opole after they easily pushed aside Rawicz in Saturday's match. Kai Huckenbeck's paid maximum (14+1, pictured, above) and Dmitri Berge's 13+1 ensured a victory against a side that did not use their Leszno riders, like Jaimon Lidsey, more or less conceding defeat from the start.

By contrast, Opole brought in flying Czestochowa's junior, Mateusz Swidnicki as well as signing Bartlomeij Kolawski on loan for the playoffs to ensure victory - and they assisted with a 9 pts maximum and 6+3 paid maximum respectively as they crushed their Lativan oppostion to set up a Germany v Poland final in a week’s time.

#LANRAW scores from eWinner 2 official page

#OPODAU scores from Zuzelend

Andzejs Lebedevs 2021

Smederna's Andzejs Lebedevs dropped just two points in Krosno's win

EWINNER 1

Wilki Kronso are now just two matches away from a remarkable 2021 which could see them move directly from eWinner 2 through to the Ekstraliga in just one season. Having won in Gdansk last week, they made light work of their opponents at home. Andzejs Lebedevs scored 13 and Mateusz Szczepaniak top scored again for the club, this time with a 13+2 paid maximum.

The match in Ostrow was a winner-takes-all affair after last week's 44:45 home victory to Rybnik.

But Ostrovia were in no mood for a close fought match and instead to the opportunity to pulverize their opponents, six heat advantages in a row including two 5:1s in the first six heats.
For the home side, top scorer was Swede, Oliver Berntzon, who scored a maximum 12 pts putting a disappoint SGP series behind him. He also put pay to any dream of an immediate return to Ekstraliga for the visitors from Rybnik.

#KROGDA scores from eWinner 1 official page

#OSTRYB scores from Zuzelend

Janowski Sayfutdinov Artem Laguta SGP 2018

L-R: M Janowski, E Sayfutdinov and A Laguta were all in action in Wroclaw tonight

EKSTRALIGA

Both of today's home teams came into the second semi-final with a 49:41 victory last week, meaning they knew they were just 15 heats in front of their home fans away from the 2021 final.

History was made in Wroclaw as visitors, Leszno failed to make the final bringing an end to their four year reign as Poland’s top team. That despite, Australian SGP rider, Jason Doyle scoring an incredible 17 pts from 6 heats.

However, the home side made their intentions clear from the first heat when Artem Laguta (11) and Tai Woffinden (11+1) took a 5:1 against the visitors’ Emil Sayfutdinov and Jaimon Lidsey. And the victory was secured by an another excellent team performance from Sparta, with Maciej Janowski joining his SGP teammates with a double figure tally. It was, in fact, the Pole who top scored for the home side with 12 pts.

Wroclaw will meet Motor Lublin in the final who won at home tonight. However, it was no easy match as Gorzow made clear their intentions to return to the final again this year. The visitors took a 1:5 in the first heat and were leading by two points after Heat 3, when Bartosz Zmarzlik (16) beat Mikkel Michelsen (11) on the Dane's home track.

But 5:1 wins for the home side in Heat 5 and 6 gave them an eight point cushion on the night and a sixteen point lead on aggregate.

It was simply too many points to collect and Lublin fans started celebrating after Heat 13 when Michelsen beat the double world champion to secure the tie.

The only bad news for the home fans was that Grigory Laguta (2+1) crashed heavily going head first into the air-fence at speed in Heat 11. The Russian veteran was taken away in an ambulance.

#WROLES scores from Zuzelend
#LUBGOR
scores from Zuzelend

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