Top young Danish rider Mikkel Michelsen has signed for the Eastbourne Lifestyle Eagles and will make his debut in Monday’s match against championship-chasing Birmingham at Arlington.
Eagles co-promoter and team manager Trevor Geer has been trailing 18-year-old Michelsen for some weeks.
“We and virtually every other club have been chasing his signature but he would not commit until he had finished his examinations.
“It has been a long search to find a new rider but Mikkel has been at or near the top of our list from the outset.
“Mikkel is a dynamic and exciting rider and our No 1 Bjarne Pedersen said it was fantastic news that he is coming to Eastbourne.”
Michelsen will only miss one Eastbourne match when he is riding in an FIM event at Berwick. The Eagles will have a facility for him on that date.
Geer added: “The club recognises it has been a frustrating time for the supporters as they have waited for news. We have never given up on the quest despite receiving many, many knock-backs.
“We know we owed it to the fans, the team and our sponsors to keep trying and at last we have got the result we wanted. This is brilliant news for Eastbourne Speedway and I’m sure fans will want to come to Arlington on Monday to see Mikkel race.”
Michelsen will take Denis Gizatullin’s place in the Eastbourne team.
Geer thanked the Russian rider for his efforts over the last two years and said Gizatullin had admitted to him that he felt as if he was letting the rest of the team down.
Geer also praised the Eagles for a superb performance at Birmingham on Monday when they came so close to an elusive away win, eventually going down 48-46.
“This was a great, fighting performance. We came so close to winning there in front of a big crowd who were expecting to cheer the Brummies to the top of the league.
“The ridiculous thing is that we were fined £400 for fielding an under-strength team. Our team ran the potential league champions to within two points on their home track and we get fined. It just doesn’t make sense” Geer said.
Monday’s match at Arlington against Birmingham gets under way at 7.30pm with the gates open from 6pm.
Eastbourne have a special offer in place for this fixture.
Supporters attending the meeting will be given a voucher which will give adult admission to the meeting on Monday August 19 against King’s Lynn for £10. This meeting is not scheduled to be broadcast by Sky.
Holders of an Eastbourne Elite League Passes will be given a free programme for the meetings against Birmingham and the one against King’s Lynn.
Eastbourne co-promoter Mike Bellerby said: “This was always going to be an exciting fixture with Birmingham riding so high in the league. We hope as many people as possible will come and create a great Arlington atmosphere to welcome Mikkel Michelsen.
“We did brilliantly in the Midlands on Wednesday but we all know that Birmingham will head south determined to gain revenge on us for spoiling their party.”