PEDERSEN PLEDGES TO RACE ON INTO 2024
Triple world champion Nicki Pedersen has pledged to race on into 2024, despite losing his team places with Holsted and Grudziadz.
The 46-year-old suffered what many feared could be career-ending hip and pelvis injuries in Grudziadz on June 5, 2022.
Incredibly, Pedersen defied his doubters to get back on track and continued racing at the highest level – at the same time as taking over as Danish national team manager this summer, leading them to the bronze medal at the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup Final in Wroclaw on July 29.
Pedersen was stunned when his Danish Superligaen club Holsted, where he has raced for 21 years, opted against renewing his contract, with PGE Ekstraliga side Grudziadz also not offering terms.
But Pedersen has no plans to hang up his kevlars and posting a statement on social media, he pledged to fight on into 2024.
He said: “The 2023 season has come to an end – a season I will never forget. I fought my way back to do what no-one thought was possible after the worst injury of my career. I started the season well and scored maximum points in my first league meeting in Poland.
“In my starts, I lost a lot of strength, especially in my arms, which made it difficult to hold on to the bike and gave me some difficult races.
“Once again, I fought back and finished the season. If I should say so myself, I've come through this season pretty well, despite my pain and small challenges I have had since my injury.
“This season was the end with both my Polish club Grudziadz and very surprisingly my Danish club Holsted, which I'm still wondering about. I always give everything I can – 100 percent. I have given the sport of speedway a lot, both personally and in the media.
“Having to leave Holsted after 21 seasons has been difficult, but when one door closes, a new one opens. I am not done yet and am currently negotiating with clubs in Poland. Whether I will ride in Denmark is not yet known, but if the opportunity and the match are correct, I will not say no.”
He added: “I would like to thank all my sponsors who have followed me in Holsted. I am sorry that I was not allowed to ride my last years and end my career in Holsted. That was my wish, but it didn't end up like that.
“Let's see if we might not still see each other on the Danish speedway tracks in 2024. I'm not that easy to knock out; I fight to the end!”
Pedersen is already training ahead of the 2024 season to ensure he returns in the best shape possible. He said: “This year I want to start in October to train physically and get ready and fit for 2024. I have changed my training plan, as my body needs more time to get back into fighting shape.”
Pedersen is pleased he took the plunge and accepted the chance to manage his country. He added: “I was very doubtful at the beginning if the time was right for me, but when is the time right? I chose to jump into it, and it turned out to be the right thing.
“I love working with young people. It makes me happy when I can share my experience and I can see that they can use it and take my advice to heart. It gives me something positive to be able to give something back to the sport and help the young people.”