On Monday afternoon the postponed European U21 Championship finally took place, not in Hungary as previously planned, but in Gdansk, Poland.
2020 – Marcus Birkemose’s year
And it was Danish 17 year old, Marcus Birkemose, who took home the coveted prize dropping just two points during the meeting.
It adds to an impressive season for the Dane, who has ridden with Poznan in 2 League with great results, coming in 8th overall with a heat average of 2.225.
On 19th September he became Danish U21 Champion and 11 days later in Vojens he came third in the Danish National Championships ahead of none less than, SGP riders Leon Madsen and Niels Kristian Iversen.
And all that happened before he had his 17th birthday on 9 October.
The young Dane will hoping to crown his season off with a medal in the Speedway of Nations in Lublin this weekend when he races alongside Leon Madsen and Anders Thomsen. Birkemose is already signed to Gorzow on a five year contract before the 2020 season started. So this will probably not be the last time we see the 17 year old’s name among the elite of the sport as he is already being tipped to race in the Ekstraliga in 2021.
Miskowiak (POL) Second
19 year old Pole, Jakub Miskowiak, made up for a disappointing showing in the U21 World Championships, by taking the Silver medal in Gdansk. He won the final heat of the night which would have given him Gold in the SGP or SEC series. But this tournament was based on overall points and Birkemose’s second place ensured that he took home the title.
It seemed like just rewards for Miskowiak, who had an excellent season in the Ekstraliga as the second highest scoring junior behind Dominik Kubera. Miskowiak will be junior reserve for his country’s Speedway of Nations team. But it will be Kubera who who starts as junior alongside double World Champion, Bartosz Zmarzlik and Syzmon Wozniak.
Woentin (SWE) Third
The Bronze medalist was Sweden’s Alexander Woentin completing a double Nordic triumph on the podium. Like Miskowiak he had a disappointing showing in Pardubice, but more than made up for it by collecting a medal in Gdansk. Like Birkemose, the Swede will be his country’s junior in one of the most prestigious matches of his career when he represents his country at the Speedway of Nations alongside 2021 SGP riders, Fredrik Lindgren and Oliver Berntzon.
Nordic speedway fans not only got to see two of their riders on the podium, but also a fifth place from 20 year old Jonathan Grahn. The Kumla Indianerna product was practically unheard of before his shock bronze in the Swedish U21 national championships in Målilla this summer, when Woentin took his second Gold in a row. Now Grahn will again had got international headlines for all the right reasons.
Wolfe Wittstock‘s top scorer, Lukas Fienhage (GER) came in fourth in a great improvement on his 9th place in the World Championships.
The European U21 Championships took place without Jan Kvech (CZE) and Wiktor Lampart (POL) who both stood on the podium in the only qualifying round of the competition that took place in Divisov. But injury in the last matches of the Ekstraliga prevented these medal hopefuls from taking part. At the same time neither World U21 Bronze medalist, Oleg Michailov (LAT) nor fourth placed and British Speedway of Nations representative, Daniel Bewley, took part despite coming from European nations.