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HAMPEL OUT AS LAGUTA JOINS VETLANDA

Polish icon Jaroslaw Hampel's storied 12-year spell at Vetlanda has come to an end as the club draft in Russian racer Artem Laguta for 2018.

11 / 11 / 2017, 11:13

Polish icon Jaroslaw Hampel's storied 12-year spell at Vetlanda has come to an end as the club draft in Russian racer Artem Laguta for 2018.

The Pole has raced at Vetlanda since 2005, playing his part in five Elitserien championship wins and scoring 2,007 points – the highest points tally by a foreign rider in the club's history.

Despite being offered a deal and Hampel being keen to stay, rider and club were unable to reach an agreement.

We are proud of having had one of the world's best riders for 12 years, a rider who has won several gold medals for us.

Mikael Wirebrand

Sports director Mikael Wirebrand told the club’s website: “We cannot wait forever, and we have chosen to move on.

“We are proud of having had one of the world's best riders for 12 years, a rider who has won several gold medals for us, as individual World Championship medals and rode to gold medals with his country in the World Cup.”

Laguta returns to the Elitserien after sitting out Swedish racing last year. It’s reported he won’t return to Russian club Togliatti in 2018.

The GP Challenge runner-up earned his SGP return after a seven-year absence in Togliatti on August 19. And while Wirebrand says he wasn’t necessarily looking for an SGP star, he admits re-signing Laguta, who raced for Vetlanda in 2016, was an easy decision.

He added: "It was not a matter of course to pick up a GP rider for one of the last places, but when we had the option; it became a simple yet big step for the club.”

Vetlanda have also signed deals with Danish duo Kasper Lykke Nielsen and Rasmus Jensen.

They complete a squad which also features SGP star Bartosz Zmarzlik, Polish champ Szymon Wozniak, Australian talent Brady Kurtz, local hero Tomas H Jonasson, Tobiasz Musielak, Jonas Davidsson, Filip Hjelmland and Johan Jensen.

Slovak star Martin Vaculik won’t be part of the squad. It’s unclear whether he’ll seek a new deal in Sweden as he prepares for his SGB Premiership debut with Leicester next year.

 

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