PETER Kildemand was the hero of the hour as he jetted 2,500 miles to help Swindon Robins continue their play-off push with a 49-41 win at Belle Vue last night.
The Dane left his Russian hotel at 7am yesterday morning following Sunday night’s European Championship round in Togliatti, taking a connecting flight from Samara to Moscow before stopping over in Amsterdam ahead of boarding his third plane to Manchester which saw him land just after 5pm.
The quick dash to Kirkmanshulme Lane was worth it as he notched 10+2 from his five rides, which included two race wins and a paid win in heat 15 as Kildemand and captain Troy Batchelor secured the vital 5-1 which earned Swindon all four league points.
Steve Worrall contributed his usual double figure score (11) while fellow reserve Nathan Greaves had a much more solid night with 3+1, but it was a visibly tired and food deprived Kildemand’s globetrotting exploits which stole the show.
“It was a crazy day and I’m really tired now but it was worth it,” the Dane told the Advertiser.
“I got it done and we got all the points which is the main thing, but I left the hotel at 7am and flew into Manchester just in time after stopping over in Moscow in Amsterdam.
“I was only in the air for five hours but the waiting in the airports was really tiring, and I’ve been to Russia so I didn’t really get any decent food in me.
“It’s been a few hard days but I have to do it and it’s worth it, so I’m really pleased. I made one mistake in one ride but to get a 5-1 in the last one with Troy to get all the points was great.”
After a slightly delayed start to allow queueing fans into the stadium, Kildemand showed no signs of tiredness following his Russian adventure as he made the gate from the outside and made it over the field to lead through the first corner. Dakota North did well to block Matej Zagar’s drive to the first bend and held the Slovenian off for four laps to secure an opening heat advantage.
Steve Worrall couldn’t quite catch Stefan Nielsen as the first reserves heat of the night was shared, before Batchelor took heat three following an electric gate from the outside, with Nick Morris doing well to earn a point ahead of Craig Cook after losing out in a ferocious battle with Nicholls for second place.
The first re-start of the night was required after Steve Worrall pushed Nielsen wide in turn one of heat four, with all four riders invited back, before a tapes issue saw both Worrall brothers break through with North and Nielsen none the wiser. Once the problem was fixed, North once again made gate four work to ensure the outside provided all four race winners before the first grading break.
The trend continued as Cook made gate four work for him in heat five, with Zagar stealing third from Morris on the run to the line after overlocking in the first corner and being seemingly out of contention.
It looked as if the outside gate’s hold on the meeting was going to be broken as both Batchelor and Kildemand beat gate four recipient Scott Nicholls to turn one, but the former Robins number one produced a superb move to slice through both riders to take victory, continuing his gate’s dominance.
The run finally came to an end in race seven as Simon Gustafsson beat Michael Palm Toft following a four-lap battle, before a big bump from Morris stopped Richie Worrall from resuming normal service in heat eight. Nicholls eventually took the win, lifting on the run to the line to beat North by a matter of inches.
There was a moment of handbags in the pits as Morris and Richie Worrall came to blows, but thoughts were quickly back on the track as Steve Worrall won his first heat of the night with victory over Nielsen in the second reserves outing, with Payne falling.
Zagar finally joined the party with a victory from the gate in a shared heat 10 and, after both Robins made the gate, the Belle Vue pairing of Nicholls and Cook forced their way through for a heat 11 maximum which changed the contest.
Affairs were soon level as Palm Toft won heat 12 with Nielsen in third for the heat advantage, but Kildemand edged his side in front with victory from the inside in heat 13, before Steve Worrall took Rossiter’s side closer to victory with a pass on Nielsen in the penultimate heat, leaving the hosts needing a 5-1 for the draw.
As soon as Kildemand and Batchelor reached the first corner in the decider the contest was over, as the Robins inflicted the Aces’ first home defeat of the season.