Danish team manager Hans Nielsen is backing his Speedway GP trio Leon Madsen, Mikkel Michelsen and Anders Thomsen to deliver FIM Speedway of Nations gold for Denmark after unveiling his starting line-up.

Nielsen met the media at the Vojens Speedway Center ahead of tonight’s FIM SON Semi-Final 1, featuring Poland, Australia, Latvia, Germany, Finland, USA and Ukraine. World champions Great Britain launch their title defence against Sweden, France, Czech Republic, Italy, Slovenia and Norway in Semi-Final 2 on Thursday.

The Danes will face the top three sides from each of the two Semi-Finals in Saturday’s FIM SON Final for the sport’s world team title.

Nielsen appeared alongside both the Danish senior and under-21 sides at Vojens this afternoon, introducing his stars for Denmark’s first home FIM SON.

He still has the option to change his senior side or the riding order ahead of Friday’s final deadline to submit the line-up to the FIM, but he looks set to name Madsen and Michelsen as his starting pair at No.1 and No.2, with reserve Thomsen at No.3.

Nielsen believes the country’s Speedway GP stars have the experience to deliver Denmark’s first gold medal in the competition and his first as team manager.

Nielsen, winner of 22 world individual and team titles in total as a rider, said: “Obviously we finalise the team the day before, so we do have the chance to make one or two changes. But I am pretty sure these are the guys who have done well and the guys who we believe can do the job on Saturday night and get that gold for Denmark.

“They also happen to be our three GP riders and obviously that counts for a lot. They are doing well in the GP. They have the experience and also Leon and Mikkel raced for us at last year’s Final in Manchester, winning the bronze.

“We have Anders in there too and the system has changed from last year. We previously had to have an under-21 rider as a reserve. Now we have Anders as a reserve. It’s a key part of the team and we can put Anders in whenever we want. We can even start the night with him if we want.”

Nielsen is ready to shuffle his pack to give Denmark the best chance of delivering a first world team title since their 2014 FIM Speedway World Cup win at Bydgoszcz.

With all three riders reaching Speedway GP finals this season, and Thomsen topping the podium for the first time at the 3W FIM Gorzow Speedway GP on June 25, Nielsen hopes home advantage gives a strong side the edge over the competition.

He said: “I think it’s going to be quite exciting. We stand just as good a chance as anyone else. As a matter of fact, I think we have a little jump ahead with the event in Denmark, so we have a little bit of home advantage, the crowd behind us and the people supporting us on Saturday.”

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