The World Pairs Final 1986
Every now and then, someone has an absolutely Bostin idea. This wasn't one of them! Nine teams, 18 heats, 6 riders in each race. Oh for ...
As soon as Ole Olsen quit as Danish Team boss, new leader Hardy Jensen had Hans Nielsen back with Erik Gundersen. England kept Kenny Carter but he was now paired with reigning World Longtrack Champion, Simon Wigg. Both those teams won their Semi-Finals with no upset eliminations. However, England would be represented at the World Final by Wigg and Jeremy Doncaster. [ Google Kenny Carter if you don't know the history. ] The Americans Bobby Schwartz and Shawn Moran had easily qualified, but for the Final, Shawn was unable to ride being injured and replaced by his brother Kelly. Schwartz replaced by Sam Ermolenko. And Sweden, Per Jonsson missed this year, replaced by Tommy Nilsson.
Back to the sunshine on June 15 after a coach trip to Pocking, West Germany. 13,000 fans basked in the heat and soaked up the atmosphere. Here is how the meeting would proceed; are we sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin;
After the first 12 programmed heats, na forget it! You will lose the will to live, trust me. It all leads up to the last three heats with a group system, the teams in 7th, 8th and 9th in heat 16. Then 4th, 5th and 6th in heat 17. And a 'Grand Final', teams 1st, 2nd and 3rd in heat 18. Happy? Let's just see how the action went; Not a good start for Gundersen who, on the first lap of his first race, connected with Roman Matousek of CZ. Erik rode to the infield and collapsed, clutching his leg. Hans won the race but it did not look good. After first aid however, Erik got up and on with the job. They had their hands full with the Yanks and very impressive Czechs, Toni Kasper and Matousek. More problems for Erik when he was forced out of his third race by a broken throttle cable.
The whole gig came down to the final with the Yanks on 41, the Danes on 37 and Czechs with 31. It was Denmark who proved the master starters and once in front, Moran and Ermolenko could only hope for something that never came. This gave Denmark and USA a final total of 46 points. Nielsen had not been beaten by an opponent all day and Kelly Moran must have had this in mind as they lined up for the Gold Medal run-off. The tapes went up and Nielsen was a gone-burger. So the Ice-cool Danes took the top honours but the Yanks had certainly made friends with the crowd as they put on a magnificent display of daring and style. The bouncing Czechs too had done a brilliant job in putting it over some of the more fancied medal contenders. Why no Bronze Medal run-off? It was all to do with that group system thingy. 80s madness and Kim Wilde ofcourse!
West Germany by Karl Maier and Klaus Lausch had certainly not disgraced themselves before their home fans either. All in all, a great day of fun in the hot Bavarian sun! "Two more Pils here Adolf!"
1 Nielsen Ermolenko Moran Matousek Kasper Gundersen nf
1st Denmark 46
2nd USA 46
3rd CZ 32
4th Sweden 32
5th New Zealand 32
6th West Germany 27
7th England 23
8th Italy 15
9th Australia 15
This article was first published on 16th November 2014
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