The World Pairs Final 1991
Out with the new, in with the old but with a new twist. Not quite, see 1968. Anyways, the 6 rider per race system nightmare was over and each team now had three riders. So the World Pairs Championship was made up of pairs with three riders each. EH? I thought the 80s was over?! Ah well, never mind ...
The Semi-Finals proved to be shockers for a handful of top rated Pairs Triplets. The USA, England, Australia, New Zealand and Hungary all bit the dust.
The 1991 World Final would be a Scanda/Euro affair. And the stage would be Poznan, Poland on July 20. It was an overcast afternoon but not too cold and 20,000 fans filled the Olympic Stadium for the Grand Showdown.
Heat 1 was Groundhog Day as the Danes effortlessly saw to the Poles. BUT, a lifeline was thrown to any other team when in Heat 4, Jan O was forced out with an engine failure a mile in front. Nielsen won but only after he had to come from the back, being fenced by the CZ ace, Bohumil Brhel on the first turn.
It was the Swedes who stepped up to the plate with three straight 5-1s. Brhel ruined their party as he was at it again in Heat 14 and he beat Per Jonsson and Jimmy Nilsen to force a draw.
So after 4 rounds, Denmark and Sweden were level with 18 points. Nielsen and Pedersen won their round 5 heat to give them 23 points and they met the Swedes in Heat 18. That was Sweden's penultimate heat so they had to beat the Danes and get 2 points from their last race for the Gold Medals outright.
Now to the BIG CRUNCH; "Oh Boy!", that fizzled, "Oh Dear Me!" The tapes went up and it was over on the first turn. Denmark in front, need I say more? Henrik Gustafsson never gave up and was only a bike length behind Nielsen at the flag but Per Jonsson was way off the pace and the Danes ...
Gustafsson and Nilsen secured the Silver Medals in their last race and Norway were ever so pleased with the Bronze Medals. A Scandinavian podium.
So where are we? Title number 8 for Denmark. Title number 7 for Nielsen. And 6 in a row for Nielsen. Less than 2 months later, Jan O Pedersen took the World Individual Title from the defender Per Jonsson. Yet again, the Speedway world wondered what it would take to halt this Red and White juggernaut!
1 Pedersen Nielsen Dolomisiewicz Zaluski
1st Denmark 28
2nd Sweden 24
3rd Norway 19
4th Germany 18
5th CZ 18
6th Italy 10
7th Poland 9
This article was first published on 21st December 2014
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