Mikkel makes a dream debut as Birmingham are slayed on Sky TV

Cameron Woodward with Mikkel Michelsen'� Mike Hinves 2013
Cameron Woodward with Mikkel Michelsen'� Mike Hinves 2013

Mikkel Michelsen made what only can be described as a dream debut for Eastbourne Lifestyle Eagles in front of the Sky TV cameras on Monday.

Eighteen-year-old Michelsen has been a bit under the radar for many British speedway fans but those in the know rated him highly.

Mikkel Bech is probably rated as the top young Dane but Michelsen is not far behind.

Fans talk of him beating Darcy Ward in Sweden and I have seen him lead our own Cameron Woodward home in a Danish League match. There was a sense of expectation around Arlington on Monday.

Michelsen could not have faced a tougher debut – on television and facing Birmingham who were the league leaders of the top flight for the first time in their history.

Was he riding for a fall?

Not likely. Showing amazing calmness and stunning ability he raced off to a heat one victory – the first time he had ridden competitively at Arlington. Yes, Michelsen was something special.

News of his signing came too late for last week’s column and it was out of the blue. Word from the Eastbourne camp earlier in the week was pretty downbeat, although promising to keep searching.

It seems as if Michelsen, who the club had been talking to for a long time, would not be coming.

Initially he had said he wanted to finish school and would not consider riding in the UK until his exams were over. The date came and went with still no word.

Had another team nipped in and persuaded Michelsen that he should come to them? That was a possibility. It has been a competitive market to try and bring riders to the UK this summer with most teams trawling Europe with, in many cases, not too much success.

And then it happened.

Michelsen said yes to the Eagles, leaving many other suitors heartbroken – and within hours team manager Trevor Geer had a date in Europe to collect a bike from Michelsen to bring to Britain.

They linked up in the early hours of Saturday morning at a mid-point between Sussex and Denmark. Geer loaded up the bike and brought it back to Britain in time for Monday with Michelsen coming in on the day of the match.

The heat one victory must have been a very sweet sight indeed for manager Geer.

See today’s Sussex Express for more on Eastbourne Speedway.

Picture: Mikkel Michelsen right with Cameron Woodward Pic by Mike Hinves and www.speedwayprint.co.uk