NKI: DANISH TALENT POOL DEEP
Tuesday 17th July 2012, 11:00
FIM Monster Energy SWC-winning skipper Niels-Kristian Iversen says Denmark have many more exciting young talents waiting in the wings after Michael Jepsen Jensen and Mikkel B Jensen’s astonishing international debuts last week.
NKI and triple world champion Nicki Pedersen were the only surviving members of the Danish side which claimed World Cup gold at Reading in 2006 and Vojens in 2008.
MJJ and Mikkel B both cemented their status as two of Denmark’s brightest rising stars as team manager Anders Secher left SGP trio Kenneth Bjerre, Bjarne Pedersen and Hans Andersen out.
With the likes of Leon Madsen, Peter Kildemand and Nicolai Klindt also at his disposal, it’s fair to say the Danes have an embarrassment of riches.
And Iversen admits being in such a deep talent pool forces him to stay on his toes.
"We have some amazing riders outside this team and this just shows we are a strong nation. We have some really exciting young riders â€“ even more than Mikkel and Michael."
- Niels-Kristian Iversen
He said: “We have some amazing riders outside this team and this just shows we are a strong nation. We have some really exciting young riders – even more than Mikkel and Michael.
“There are still more riders coming and the older ones really have to keep battling to stay in the game.”
While Bjerre, Andersen and Bjarne Pedersen have been off the boil this season, leaving them out was still a gamble for Secher. But Iversen says this season’s changing of the guard was well received in his homeland.
He said: “The press in Denmark has been extremely positive. We’ve done well all tournament and we didn’t feel so much pressure in the Final.”
Iversen added: “Before the meeting, we thought nicking a medal would be a decent result, but we wanted to take it as it came.
“We knew we could win it if we all clicked together. A medal was our aim before we started and we won gold.
“We were the only team that didn’t play the joker – we didn’t play it all tournament. It just shows that we have done extremely well. We have been in some good positions and been in the points all the way through. We deserved to win it.”
Iversen’s next big goal is to secure SGP qualification for 2013, when he races in the Grand Prix Challenge at Croatian SGP venue Gorican on September 29.
A top-three finish would put NKI back in the World Championship for the first time since 2008. But the Gorzow, Indianerna and King’s Lynn stars knows he has plenty of work to do first.
He said: “There are many more important meetings to come first and a lot of league racing. I’m fully focused on that at the moment and I’m keeping my head down.”
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