Star man Pedersen a doubt after big smash

While Prince William and Kate Middleton are off on honeymoon, there’s another big date at the Abbey this Bank Holiday; but this one’s in Swindon, not Westminster.

Forget the confetti, the gowns and a horse and carriage, it will be shale, kevlars and speedway bikes at this Abbey.

Eastbourne visit the Swindon Robins on Monday, out to build on their fine start to the season.

In a busy few days of action the Eagles faced Peterborough last night (see Gazette for report) and also host Swindon at Arlington today (7.45pm).

And boss Trevor Geer, speaking before last night’s trip to the East of England showground, is enjoying life at the top of the Elite League.

“It is certainly better to be there than at the bottom,” he said, “so make the most of it and see if we can extend our lead.

“There’s absolutely no doubting that all seven riders are full of enthusiasm.”

But Geer admitted he is sweating on the fitness of number one Bjarne Pedersen ahead of the fixtures.

The Dane, who joined from Poole in the off-season, has been undergoing treatment for a back injury sustained after a collision with team-mate Joonas Kylmakorpi and former Eagle Lee Richardson last Friday against Lakeside.

Pedersen hopes to be fit in time for Friday; Belle Vue asset Rory Schlein was set to guest in his place last night.

Geer has paid tribute to his latest recruit, young Finn Timo Lahti, despite a tough meeting at Poole last Sunday (55-39 defeat). The teenager rode well on début at Lakeside on Friday before missing the return leg later in the day through concussion.

He said, “Timo was still suffering from concussion when we went to Poole. He was passed fit, but I don’t believe he was right.

“He had a good meeting in Sweden on Monday, picked up 11 points.

“I think he has showed lots of potential and the supporters realise he’s something special.”

Opponents Swindon have started the season slowly and sit bottom of the standings, but do have one-time Eagles rider Scott Nicholls in their ranks.

Eagles: Pedersen/tbc, Dryml, Gustafsson, Woodward, Kylmakorpi, Bridger, Lahti.