Bears make three changes
The Redcar Agilia Bears have made 3 changes to their line up ahead of this week’s clashes against Glasgow and Sheffield. German star Erik Riss will become the Bears new number 1 and will be joined by Dane Kasper Andersen and Brit Tom Woolley. The riders making way for the new arrivals are Ulrich Ostergaard, Jack Smith and the injured Tom Bacon.
Riss also rides in the UK for Premiership side Kings Lynn and returned to their side after a spell on the injury list (broken collar bone) on Monday. He made a successful return scoring 8 points which included 2 race wins. He arrives on a converted Premiership average of 8.75. Kasper Andersen has already raced at Redcar in 2019, scoring 4 points before his release from Sheffield. He has previously shown a liking for the MPA, scoring paid 9 for Sheffield and recording 10 points in the Teesside Silver Helmet in 2018. Tom Woolley is handed his first opportunity in the Championship after spending 2018 with National League side Buxton, where he finished with an average of 6.69.
The Agilia Bears now look to have a very powerful heat leader trio and will be hoping to defend their aggregate lead of 12 points going into Friday’s 2nd leg of the KO Cup. Riss and Woolley will make their debuts on Friday, with Andersen joining the squad this Sunday for the Bears Championship clash with Sheffield. The Bears will run rider replacement for Tom Bacon on Friday.
When discussing the moves, promoter Jitendra Duffill explained, ‘It’s been a very difficult few days for Jade and myself when considering these changes; they were finalised with the incoming riders on Monday so they could be declared to the BSPA and be effective from Friday. Jack Smith had asked us to replace him after Friday’s clash against Leicester so we acted quickly to snap up Kasper Andersen as a direct replacement. 24 hours later Jack informed us that he had changed his mind but unfortunately it was too late as a deal had already been done with Kasper. On Saturday evening we were also dealt the blow that Tom Bacon had broken his back and would be missing for most of the season. Before Ulrich’s superb performance yesterday we had been lacking a 3rd heat leader and with no suitable replacement for Tom available, we decided that we couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to bring in a rider of the calibre of Erik Riss.’
Duffill added, ‘It was an extremely embarrassing situation for us to deliver the bad news to Ulrich after a brilliant display yesterday. Ulrich had struggled a bit until that point; we simply didn’t see that coming and wish we had seen more of it in the meetings prior. Unfortunately, the change had already been made but his performance will surely have put him in the shop window for any other Championship teams looking to strengthen.’
He continued, ‘I’d like to welcome Erik Riss, Kasper Andersen and Tom Woolley to the club. Erik is an extremely exciting, big name capture for us and he will score big points everywhere he rides. He had been in scintillating from before he broke his collar bone earlier this year and I expect him to continue that for the rest of the season. Kasper is a very capable replacement for Tom Bacon and he will form a very strong top 5 for the Bears. He is one of the new crop of rising Danish talents and I’m sure Bears fans will take to him quickly. Tom Woolley is experiencing Championship racing for the first time so no pressure will be put on his shoulders. He has performed well at National League level, is keen to learn and we are strong enough in our top 6 to support him whilst he finds his feet. I’m looking forward to working with all 3.’
Duffill was keen to express his thanks to the departing Bears adding, ‘I’d like to thank Ulrich, Jack and Tom for everything they have done this year. They are all great guys and I’ve enjoyed working with each one of them. I’m sure it won’t be long before Ulrich and Jack find team places elsewhere and I hope Tom makes a swift recovery from his injuries. He really has had some awful luck over the last 2 years but he is a resilient character and will come back strong from it; that I have no doubt about.’
Bears Line Up
1 Erik Riss 8.75
2 Kasper Andersen 4.80
3 Michael Palm Toft 7.60
4 Jordan Stewart 4.93
5 Charles Wright 7.77
6 Tom Woolley 2.00
7 Nathan Greaves 3.86