Danish legend Hans Nielsen believes combining racing and running the national side will be no easy task for Nicki Pedersen.

The triple Speedway GP world champion replaces four-time world champion Nielsen as Danish team manager ahead of the FIM Speedway World Cup’s return in Wroclaw from July 25-29.

Nielsen – winner of 22 individual and world team titles as a rider – took charge of the Danes in 2016, winning two FIM Speedway of Nations bronze medals, before stepping down shortly before his team took fourth place in last year’s FIM SON Final at Vojens on July 30.

Four-time FIM SWC winner Pedersen will lead the preparations for this summer’s FIM SWC along with Nielsen’s former assistant coach Henrik Moller, and could even ride in the tournament, having named himself on the Elite B squad list.

Alongside his new managerial commitments, Pedersen will be racing for Danish club Holsted, Polish PGE Ekstraliga team Grudziadz and British side Peterborough. He is also starring in reality TV show, Team Pedersen, which features his family, on Denmark’s Kanal 5 and Discovery+.

With so much on his plate, Nielsen admits he is surprised Denmark’s Motor Union appointed an active rider for what he feels is a deceptively demanding role.

He said: “Obviously I was surprised that they picked someone who was riding at the same time. I know how busy I have been, and I feel like it has been a full-time job. I find it hard to see how he has time to do it at the same time as riding.

“But obviously that’s their choice and they feel they can make it work. It’s important that he has Henrik Moller as an assistant because he is going to be a little busier than he was before with Nicki having to ride too. There probably will be more for Henrik to look after.

“When I took the job, I didn’t think it would be too hard, but it was certainly a lot more work than I expected. I think Nicki will find it the same way."

Nielsen admits Pedersen’s role as an active rider could also have its advantages over a team manager who may have retired many years ago or one who has never competed on two wheels.

He said: “The fact he’s still riding means he’s right in there when it comes to equipment. Hopefully that can be an advantage in some cases, and he can help the team out.”