The return of Pederson to Eagles is no great surprise

The return of Danish international Bjarne Pedersen to Arlington for the 2013 season was no huge surprise.

It was common knowledge that he was unhappy at Birmingham, where he rode last year, and that he enjoyed leading the Eagles in 2011, writes Richard Hudson. He didn’t return to Eastbourne for 2012 because he was riding in the Speedway Grand Prix series, giving rise to potential conflicts with the club’s home fixtures.

Pedersen, of course, was a key member of the team which finished second in 2011. Co-promoter and team manager Trevor Geer said: “He wanted to come back to the Eagles and we believe he will help us once again to put in a serious challenge for league honours next year.

“Bjarne will be free of commitments around the Speedway Grand Prix and can give his all to the Eagles’ campaign.”

Pedersen joins Adam Shields as two definite starters for Eastbourne when tapes go up in March.

They will take the places of Joonas Kylmakorpi, who is not riding in the UK next season, and Lewis Bridger, who has moved to Lakeside. Geer is known to be in negotiations with other riders but said there would be no names until contracts were signed and returned by riders.

Off track, Chris Macdonald is to continue as the Eagles commercial manager following talks with senior promoter Bob Dugard. Dugard said: “It would be virtually impossible to replace him, not only for the forthcoming season but beyond. Fortunately, we found common ground and Chris will stay on board, which for me and the club is a huge relief.”