Leicester have confirmed that Mikkel Michelsen has accepted terms to ride for the Lions next season. The twenty year old Dane finished third in the World Under-21 Championship last season and has been signed on loan from his parent club the Eastbourne Eagles.
Michelsen was a summer signing for Eastbourne in 2013 and after scoring eleven points at home to Birmingham on his debut he continued to score freely. Mikkel had not ridden enough matches to qualify for a true average and therefore he began last season on an assessed figure of 5.00 but before the end of April the World Under-21 Team Cup gold medallist had achieved a real-time average which placed him in a heat leader role in the Eagles team.
“Mikkel did very well in his first full season in the Elite League and quickly showed his pedigree with a string of impressive performances. He is one of the top riders of his age group and will come into the side on a 6.02 match average which will place him in either the number 2 or 4 position in the team. That will give us a quality rider to have on such an attractive points’ average and I see Mikkel building upon last season’s figures. I would like to thank the Eastbourne management and in particular Trevor Geer who was helpful during the negotiations” commented the Lions Team Manager Norrie Allan.
With Jason Doyle, Szymon Woźniak, Josh Auty and Simon Lambert already confirmed starters for next season the Rapid Solicitors Lions now have just two positions in the team to fill.
Jason Doyle is set to return to race for Leicester in 2015 after agreeing a deal with the club. The Australian International developed into an out-an-out number one for the Lions and headed the team’s score-chart in what was his first full season as an Elite League rider. The Rapid Solicitors Lions Promoter David Hemsley said: “Utmost in our minds was to open talks with Jason as soon as possible to see if we could agree a deal to bring him back to Leicester. We made it our first priority and I know that fans have been willing us to do everything possible to make it happen and I am so pleased that Jason also wanted to be back with us for a second season and we were able to reach agreement.”
Doyle’s preparations during last winter were overshadowed by concerns that he would not be allowed a visa to work in the UK following rule changes for sportspeople. The situation was resolved in time for him to arrive at the beginning of the season but the facility to continue riding for two clubs in different leagues was removed and Doyle had to choose between Leicester and his current Premier League club the Somerset Rebels. “Jason saw his future in the Elite League which was fortunate for us and it turned out to be the right decision because he lifted his scores to a new level which in turn gave the team belief that we had someone who could go out in the first heat and win the race against the opposition’s best rider” added Hemsley.
Doyle now joins the Polish Under-21 National Champion Szymon Woźniak in the main body of the side along with the two reserves Josh Auty and Simon Lambert. “Jason and Szymon’s match averages come to a combined total of 13.44 so we have 20.56 points available on the table to sign three riders whose figures fit within this number.” explained Hemsley.
“I am really happy that I was chosen by David Hemsley during the selection process on Wednesday because of all the clubs Leicester was my first choice. I rode for the Lions in 2012 and during my time there it was a professionally run club with a great set of supporters. I have received many messages from fans who have already sent me good wishes and I can’t wait for March to come around” said Simon Lambert.
Josh Auty said: “It is great to be back riding in the Elite League after missing out last season and I aim to make up for lost time. I have heard nothing but good things about Leicester and whilst it is a little while since I last rode the track I am looking forward to the challenge of helping the team have a more successful season than last.”
With Szymon Woźniak a confirmed starter who is now joined by Josh Auty and Simon Lambert that just leaves four team places to fill. “Good progress is being made on a number of fronts with regards to negotiations with riders and we should soon be in a position to confirm our 2015 team” added the Lions Promoter David Hemsley.
For the latest information on the Leicester Lions, have it delivered direct to your inbox. Enter your name and email address below.
Get involved with other Leicester Lions Fans and join our facebook page.
Don't miss out, and invite your friends along too.
Click here to get involved.