Nicki Pedersen, a three-time world champion, has started a campaign to replace Hans Nielsen as manager of the Danish team, despite his continued interest in racing.
Despite winning four FIM Speedway World Cups with Denmark, Pedersen is no longer eligible to compete for his country under Nielsen’s leadership.
Nielsen won bronze medals in the 2020 and 2021 FIM Speedway of Nations Finals, but he stepped down after Denmark’s disappointing fourth-place performance at this year’s Final in Vojens.
In light of the upcoming 2023 FIM SWC in Wroclaw, Pedersen has emerged as a potential contender for the post of national coach and believes no one else is more suited for the role.
He said on TV2, “Right now there are no other Danes better than me that you can take if you genuinely want to push forward in the sport and get Denmark to create results again. No one else compares favorably to you. When it comes to getting the bikes ready to go and putting together a squad, I’ve got it covered. No one else is more qualified to carry out this task than I am. The DMU is also quite familiar with this.
Mark Lemon, the Australian manager, continued his riding career for three more years after becoming the team’s manager. This is not unheard of.
After suffering a devastating hip and pelvic fracture in June, Pedersen is presently undergoing rehabilitation. Although he now serves as a rider, he sees no reason why he couldn’t also serve in the Danish national job.
He said, “It is possible that a switch might be made, where I did both for a few more years and was also tied to the DMU.” It’s not out of the question.
You may simply accept the contract so that I become national coach right now and I myself continue to ride as long as you have the necessary circumstances for what the national coach must be allowed to accomplish and engage in.
While ties between Pedersen and the DMU have been rocky at times, the Odense native still thinks they can cooperate. The more I think about it, the more I realize you should never say never,” he stated. Although we have butted heads on occasion, the DMU and I are able to work together effectively and hold each other in high regard. It shouldn’t be too difficult for us to cooperate now that we’ve had some experience working together and can draw on the lessons we’ve learned from our past interactions.
Soren Andersen, the director of sports at the DMU, has shown interest in having Pedersen continue racing while also serving as his country’s manager.
He envisioned a system where the national coach was also an avid cyclist. No qualified candidate will be turned away. Certain responsibilities may be reworked to better match the mold. The goal is to get the best possible outcome in the long term.
The name Nicki Pedersen has the potential to be just as intriguing as any number of other options. I am certain that we will be able to find and select a competent national coach from among the many qualified applicants.
Since we posted the job listing, we’ve had a fair amount of inquiries and applications. We also know that this is a profession that is discussed amongst those who work at speedways.