Speedway GP trio Leon Madsen, Mikkel Michelsen and Anders Thomsen have all been named in triple world champion Nicki Pedersen’s first squad as Danish national team manager.

Pedersen has launched a new structure as he takes over from Hans Nielsen for 2023, featuring four groups – Elite A1 and Elite A2 for the senior stars, plus Elite Future B1 and Elite Future B2 for the next generation of riders aged under 23 or below.

Madsen, Michelsen and Thomsen, who raced for the Danes in the 2022 FIM Speedway of Nations Final at Vojens, unsurprisingly retain their places in the A1 group, with Danish champion Rasmus Jensen, Frederik Jakobsen and Mathias Nielsen joining them.

There was much speculation over whether Pedersen would name himself on the list, and the Speedway GP great has included his name on the A2 list for what would be his first national side appearance since Denmark took silver in the 2015 FIM Speedway World Cup Final at Vojens.

He is joined by seven-time Danish champion Niels-Kristian Iversen, former Speedway GP winners Kenneth Bjerre and Michael Jepsen Jensen, plus Patrick Hansen, Nicolai Klindt and Andreas Lyager.

With five riders required for the FIM SWC as it returns to the calendar at Wroclaw’s Olympic Stadium from July 25-29, Pedersen has no shortage of options.

And despite splitting the riders into groups A1 and A2, he can select from either list and even add other riders when he names his squad for the tournament if he wishes.

Last year’s SGP2 star Benjamin Basso heads the Future B1 list after finishing fifth in the 2022 FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship – just one point short of the bronze medal.

He is joined by the likes of 2021 World Under-21 runner-up Mads Hansen, Tim Sorensen, Jonas Seifert, Emil Breum and Jesper Knudsen.

Last year’s SGP2 riders Kevin Juhl Pedersen and Jonas Knudsen all future on the Future B2 list, alongside Esben Hjerrild, Bastian Borke, Nicolai Heiselberg, William Drejer, Thomas Kring, Bastian Pedersen and Nicklas Aagaard.

Alongside the FIM SWC and the FIM Europe events, the Danish Under-21 team will compete in the 2023 FIM Speedway of Nations – SON2 event in Riga on August 11, with three places in the side up for grabs. Breum and Jesper Knudsen are the only riders eligible for the under-21 category on the Future B1 list, with 2022 SGP2 trio Basso, Juhl Pedersen and Jonas Knudsen all too old to compete in SGP2 or SON2 in 2023.


Speedway Elite A1: Leon Madsen, Mikkel Michelsen, Anders Thomsen, Rasmus Jensen, Frederik Jakobsen, Mathias Nielsen.

Speedway Elite A2: Michael Jepsen Jensen, Andreas Lyager, Nicolai Klindt, Patrick Hansen, Nicki Pedersen, Kenneth Bjerre, Niels-Kristian Iversen.

Speedway Elite Future B1: Benjamin Basso (U23), Mads Hansen (U23), Tim Sørensen (U23), Jonas Seifert (U23), Emil Breum (U21, U23), Jesper Knudsen (U19, U21, U23).

Speedway Elite Future B2: Jonas Knudsen (U23), Kevin Juhl Pedersen (U23), Esben Hjerrild (U21, U23), Bastian Borke (U21, U23), Nicolai Heiselberg (U19, U21, U23), William Drejer (U19, U21, U23), Thomas Kring (U19, U21, U23), Bastian Pedersen (U19, U21, U23), Nicklas Aagaard (U19, U21, U23).