European Individual Grass Track Championship SF1: all eyes on Bielefeld
German rider Bernd Diener – one of the favourites for Sundays FIME European Individual Grass Track Semi Final 1 – (Photo courtesy of Jesper Veldhuizen)
Bernd Deiner is part of a strong trio of home riders as Germany plays host to the first Semi Final of the FIME European Individual Grass Track Championship at Bielefeld on Sunday.
The veteran, who turns 60 later this month, won this crown as far back as 1999, but the fact he will arrive hot-foot from the first round of this year’s FIM World Long Track Championship at Herxheim is tribute to not just his longevity, but his consistency too.
Deiner will be joined at the tapes by fellow countrymen Jorg Tebbe and Max Dilger. Like Deiner, Tebbe is a vastly experienced campaigner who will be bidding to reach the final for the 12th time, while Dilger, is a star still very much on the rise and looking to contest his third final in succession.
The trio face plenty of strong challengers from elsewhere on the continent, each of them looking for the top nine finish which will secure them a place at the European Final – also to be staged in Germany – at Bad Hersfeld on August 17. The rider finishing in 10th place on Sunday will also travel to Bad Hersfeld as one of the two reserves.
Among these are last year’s runner-up, Czech No 1 Josef Franc, former World Champion Mathieu Tresarrieu of France, former British Speedway Champion Chris ‘Bomber’ Harris as well as one of the rising stars from the Netherlands – Romano Hummel.
The other Semi Final will be staged at Leamington Spa in the UK on Sunday 23rd June.