Away form crucial for a title chase

Eastbourne Lifestyle Eagles Speedway Team. March 16th 2013 E12045P
Eastbourne Lifestyle Eagles Speedway Team. March 16th 2013 E12045P
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The Eastbourne Eagles are hoping a great team spirit and improved performances on the road will deliver silverware to Arlington in 2013.

The Eagles narrowly missed out on the Elite League play-offs last season, largely due to inconsistent performances away from Arlington.

Their home stadium has traditionally been a fruitful hunting ground for Trevor Geer’s men and last season was no different. But the problems arose on the road and it’s an area the team are eager to address.

The experienced Bjarne Pedersen has been drafted in as the number-one rider and the former GP man is expected to lead the way in the search for away points.

Lewis Bridger’s iffy away form was a large reason why he was allowed to join Lakeside Hammers as Geer searches for more consistency in 2013.

Geer explained, “Lewis was great at home but on the road last season he averaged three or four points. We need to be a bit stronger than that.”

Former Eagle Adam Shields put retirement plans on hold and returns to the club for another crack at the title.

The Aussie rider cited personal reasons when he walked away from the sport in 2012 but insists he is fully refreshed and is looking froward to the challenge.

The team captain this year will once again be Cameron Woodward. Woodward arrives to the new season full of confidence having recently claimed the GB National Grasstrack title.

The rider is determined to improve on his performances of last season and finally establish himself as a real force in the Elite League this season.

Boss Geer is also hoping to see Timo Lahti build on an encouraging first season in English speedway.

The flying Finn announced his arrival with an excellent rookie year from reserve. The youngster has since been promoted up order for 2013 and Geer has no doubts that he will deliver.

Geer said, “Timo was a bit worried about stepping up from reserve and into the team but I have no worries on that front.

“I watched Timo in practice last week and his pace was frightening. When he is out in front you just cannot catch him.

“I fully expect him to be a grand prix rider of the future and I’m delighted that he will be part of our team this season. I’m sure he will kick-on and the experience of last season will make him even better.”

“The boys are keyed up and really want to do well. I can see every one of them improving on their averages this year.

“We have five riders back from last year and the newcomers are, of course, no strangers. Bjarne Pedersen rode for us in 2011 and it was at Arlington that Adam Shields made his mark at senior level in British speedway.”