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NO LIDSEY OR KILDEMAND FOR ACES

Belle Vue will be without World Under-21 champ Jaimon Lidsey and Peter Kildemand in 2021 as club bosses prepare for British Speedway's AGM.

13 / 01 / 2021, 12:45

Belle Vue bosses have confirmed they will be without World Under-21 champion Jaimon Lidsey and Peter Kildemand in 2021 as they prepare for tomorrow’s British Speedway annual meeting.

Clubs across the UK are expected to lose some riders who were due to be in their teams for the cancelled 2020 season after Polish authorities limited PGE Ekstraliga stars to racing in one other league, while First and Second Division riders can compete in up to two.

Aces’ director of speedway Mark Lemon admits the Manchester club will have to replace Leszno star Lidsey and Gniezno man Kildemand. Other stars departing the SGB Premiership include Sheffield No.1 Nicki Pedersen, King’s Lynn hero Robert Lambert and Peterborough racer Rohan Tungate.

We’re confident that, when the day comes when we can resume racing, we will have an exciting and competitive side at Belle Vue.

Mark Lemon

Despite losing two key riders, Lemon is confident Aces will be able to find suitable replacements. He said: “Obviously it’s disappointing to lose Peter and Jaimon as an unfortunate consequence of enforced circumstance this year, and we wish them both well.

“We have had a considerable amount of interest from lots of riders who have pledged their services to British Speedway this year.  At this point we have not made any formal offers and will not do so until after the conclusion of the AGM when we have a clearer idea of team structures for 2021.

“This year presents a unique challenge with regards to team building given the situation with coronavirus and the Polish restrictions. But we’re confident that, when the day comes when we can resume racing, we will have an exciting and competitive side at Belle Vue.”

Promoters are holding an online meeting on Thursday to agree team-building rules and league formats for this year.

A Sheffield press release suggests the Tigers “are hoping, with play-offs and a possible cup competition and individual meeting, to host 14-15 meetings from May onwards.”

This suggests Premiership clubs could meet once home and once away, with the six remaining teams split into two groups of three to contest the Premiership Supporters Cup. Champions Swindon withdrew from the league earlier this week due to stadium building work and Covid-19 concerns.

Regardless of the format, Belle Vue CEO Adrian Smith says clubs must ensure a more sustainable future for British Speedway.

He said: “Last year presented one of the toughest challenges in speedway’s collective history and a lot of work has been put in over the winter in preparation for 2021.

“It is clear to me that the sport must adapt and evolve because the current model is not sustainable.

“I feel that the challenges of 2020 and rule changes in other nations has given us a great opportunity to look at restructuring the sport at every level to protect and preserve it for many years to come.

“What we have with British Speedway is an amazing product and we must take action now for the sake of its future.”

Photo: Taylor Lanning

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