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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


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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
scores from Zuzelend

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U21 TEAM WORLDS: Poland outclass rivals

The U21 Team World Championships changed its format to follow the seniors Speedway of Nations model when seven nations met in Bydgoszcz last night.

The whole event is still available to watch free of charge online at the official stream, TVP Sport (commentary in Polish).

1. Poland

However, the result was a familiar one - Poland in first place. Jakub Miskowiak and Wiktor Lampart provided a demonstration of how it should be done - not just riding faster than everyone else, but closer to each other, reading the track better and being more aware of each than other than any of the other 18 competitors in the depot.

The only time they looked unlikely to take the maximum available 7 points was in the final. At one point Denmark's Mads Hansen and Marcus Birkemose had the gold in their hands, only to be denied by the Polish duo's counterattack as the heat finished 6-3 to the reigning champions.

2. Denmark

For Denmark they had to be content with a silver medal, lead out by Hansen with 17+1. After a quiet season in 2021, it was also good to see Birkemose back on the track and grinning wildly every time the camera was on him in the depot. He took home 11+1 in just four races.

The most worrying site of the evening, however, was when Tim Sørensen was taken from the venue in an ambulance after a heavy crash coming into turn 3 in the all Scandinavian heat 16. Shockingly, Team Sweden finished the competition in a disappointing last place having only beaten one of their rivals, the Czech Republic.

Suspected concussion means the Dane will now miss the SGP at Vojens today. However, it will not affect his club racing as neither his Polish or Danish team are in the playoffs in their leagues.

3. Great Britian

Discovery of the night was British 20 year old, Tom Brennan who had a fantastic evening scoring 20 pts and surely earning himself a contract in Poland for the 2022 season. Brennan won every heat he was in - except those against the two teams who medalled above them in the competition.

Great Britian came to the event as an unknown package to their continental rivals. That's partly because they had been prevented from travelling to the Individual World Championships in 2020 and 2021 due to their own country's strict coronavirus measures. (This was also the reason no Americans have appeared in the competition in 2021 as their juniors are also based in the UK). However, the Brits will not be underestimated again as the trio of Brennan, Drew Kemp and Leon Flint took a Bronze medal for the second year in a row in this event.

Outside of the medals it was Rawicz's Keynan Rew (17) who impressed for the fourth placed Australians and Latvia's Francis Gusts (15), who won three of his four heats before a crash in Heat 15 dented his performance. Whilst only 18 yrs, it would not be a surprise to see Gusts leave Daugavpils and appear on an Ekstraliga roster in 2022.

Many of these riders will be in action again in two weeks time when the Individual Junior World Championship resumes in Krosno on 22 September.


Individual scores are available from the official U21 World Championship website.

A heat-by-heat score can be found at Zuzelend.

(Photo shows Polish rider, Patryk Dudek, who is three times U21 Team World Champion).

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ALLSVENSKAN: Griparna will defend title against Indianerna

When the regular season finished two weeks ago, Hagfors Valsarna were in first and Kumla Indianerna were in second. But the top placed team surprised many by choosing to go against third place, Nyköping Griparna in the semifinals and leave fourth place, Team Rapid to face the Kumla side.


#VALGRI - Griparna finish off Valsarna 41:49 (77:103)

After the first semifinal, Valsarna may have regretted their decision as they were defeated away in Nyköping by 36:54. And tonight in Hagfors that gap proved to be a bridge too far.

Griparna have been led by the league's top scorer, Kim Nilsson (pictured) and Peter Ljung and the two experienced riders did not make any mistakes tonight scoring 14+1 and 12, respectively.

Meanwhile, the home side couldn't find their groove, with British youngster, Leon Flint (3) finishing last in four of his five heats ahead of his U21 Team Championships match on Friday in Bydgoszcz. But it was also the home riders who struggled and it was not until Heat 6 when they won their first heat through Victor Palovaara (12).

It means an easy win over the two matches and Griparna will be in the final to defend the title they have held since 2019 after coronavirus cancelled the league last year.

Full scores from SVEMO.


#INDTEA - Rapid denied fairytale result 42:48 (73:71)

Last week in Eskilstuna, the visiting Indianerna won 23:31 in a match that was cut short by a dramatic spill where the home side's Daniel Henderson flew over the air fence. His injuries included a punctured lung, fractured lumber spine and fractures to all 12 ribs on his right-hand side and he was operated on over the weekend.

Team Rapid photed themselves in "we are racing for you! Keep fighting DH!" t-shirts and brought in two Elitserien riders to the squad to prove they meant business and would cancel the eight point deficit from the home match. To their credit, both Pontus Aspgren and Philip Hellström Bängs (11+1) did as requested top scoring for the visitors. In fact, Aspgren excelled scoring a 15 point maximum.

All seemed to be going well for Rapid as they took the lead from the very first Heat. By Heat 6 the Eskilstuna side had drawn the series level as they were leading tonight's match by 8 points.

Indianerna should be grateful for Grudziadz rider, Norbert Krakowiak who finished the evening as their top scorer with 12+1. But it took until they were behind for his Swedish born teammates to step up and start to fight for their final place. By the end of the evening #1-#4 had all won a heat, but for Christofer Selvin, Joel Andersson and Jonathan Grahn it was not until Heat 9 they were first to meet the checkered flag.

It was a tense finish, and looking back the deciding heat was Heat 11 when Andersson came in as a tactical substitution for Kumla's youngest rider, 20 yrs old Hugo Lundahl (2) to ride with Krakowiak. The more experienced pair took a 5:1 for the home side, which turned out to be the last one of the evening.

So, even though Rapid won the tie, 42:48, it meant the aggregate score was 73:71 in the Indians favour.

Full scores from SVEMO.


So, that sets up a Indianerna v Griparna final where the Kumla side will be able to decide if they want to start at home or away in next week's fixture due to tale place on Wednesday night.

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EKSTRALIGA: away team wins in the first semis

#GORLUB 41:49- full scores from Zuzelend

#LESWRO 41:49 - full scores from Zuzelend

Gorzow's Bartosz Zmarzlik (photo) showed why his the double world champion and is leading the 2021 SGP series with a perfect 18 points from six rides in tonight's first semifinal. And whilst ably supported by Danish SGP rider, Anders Thomsen with 10 pts, neither their juniors nor more experienced riders, Martin Vaculik (5) or Syzmon Wozniak (6), were able to provide a strong enough back-up to win the match at home.

Instead it was the visitors, Motor Lublin - who finished the regular season one place above Gorzow by just one point - who won the match. It was European Champion, Mikkel Michelsen (12) who led the visitors charge, but he was supported by four of his teammates who scored 8 points or more to give them a eight point lead before the return match.

In tonight's other semi, Wroclaw came into the match having beaten the four times champions, Unia Leszno in the regular season by 41:49. And, in a tighly fought match, Sparta did it again with exactly the same as score as before, 41:49.

With five SGP riders in the lineups there was high quality action in every heat. But apart from the more well known names, Wroclaw's junior Przemyslaw Liszka shone with 5+1. For Leszno it was U21 World Champion, Jaimon Lidsey who had one of his best matches of the season, top scoring for the whole team with 11+1.

Worrying for the defending champions is that Emil Sayfutdinov (7) and Janusz Kolodziej (6) did not score double figures. Meanwhile, the surprise for the winners was that Daniel Bewley only managed 2 points he was eliminated from Heat 5 in a fall that could well have been caused by rival, Jason Doyle (10+3). But the referee judged that it was the young Brit who had to sit out the rerun.

Nonetheless, Wroclaw will be pleased to see Bewley's compatriot, Tai Woffinden score 10+2, with some of his best racing in the league this year.

EWINNER 1 - all square after first match
EWINNER 2 - Germans shock win at home

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EWINNER 1 - all square after first semifinals

The semis n League 1 led to a stalemate in both matches meaning the winner of next week's races will advance to the final

#GDAKRO 45:45 - full scores from Zuzelend

#RYBOST 45:44 - full scores from eWinner 1 official website

In Gdansk the top scorer was not Tobiasz Musielak (8), who leads the league in points/ heat, but his teammate and Krosno's #2 rider, Mateusz Szczepaniak with an almost perfect 13+1 from four heats. For the home side it was Jakub Jamrog who top-scored with 11, marking the end of a successful week for the 30 year old, who scored a maximum in his Thursday night match for Piraterna in Sweden. Dane, Rasmus Jensen also had a great night with 8+2.

In Rybnik there was only one point that separated the two teams. That occurred in the Heat 10 re-run when Ostrovia's only remaining rider in the heat, Oliver Berntzon, crashed out leading to a 5:0 for the home side. Although the medical staff said the Swedish SGP rider could not continue in the match, the good news is that no serious injury was sustained.

Michael Jepsen Jensen (pictured) and Rune Holta led the attack for the home side top scoring with 12+1 whilst Swede, Pontus Aspgren (8+1) making a vital contribution riding #1. Meanwhile the duo of Nicolaj Klindt (7+1) and Patrick Hansen (9) continue to show why they are some of the highest scoring Danes in League 1.

Click on the league's name to see more from EKSTRALIGA and EWINNER 2.

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EWINNER 2 - Germans shock win at first semi

#LANRAW 60:30- full scores from Zuzelend

#DAUOPO - matched scheduled for Monday 6 September

Perhaps the shock result of the weekend came from Germany, where Landshut steamrolled Leszno's development team, Rawicz by 30 points.

A 15 pts maximum from the only non-German on the team, Dimtri Berge (pictured) from France, and great scoring from Kai Huckenbeck (11+1) and Martin Smolinski (13+1) gives the side a foot in the final, even before the match in Rawicz next week.

Australian, Ryan Douglas came into the visitors' side and scored 7, whilst compatriot and junior, Keynan Rew took 2+1. But the side will probably need countryman, Jaimon Lidsey, to return to the squad and a considerable amount of luck if they are to make it to the final this year.

Also see my review from the weekend's EKSTRALIGA and EWINNER1 matches.