PETER Kildemand and Troy Batchelor stole the show as the Robins took a giant leap towards the Elite League play-off final with a magnificent 55-35 victory at Birmingham last night.
Kildemand scored 14+1 to claim his first maximum of the season while Batchelor scored 13+1 on a night where the Robins ran rampant over their under-par visitors in the two teams’ semi-final first leg.
While Brummies skipper Danny King repeatedly hit the deck and Bjarne Pedersen’s woeful form continued, Kildemand used the dirt line coming out of turn two time and again to storm around the outside of the home duo, and when out in front he never looked like being beaten.
Batchelor was ultra-consistent all night with some superb passes, and the pair were ably backed up by skipper Hans Andersen and tough Aussie Jason Doyle who scored 8+1 and 9+1 respectively.
But the night belonged to Kildemand, and the Dane was delighted with how he performed in such an important meeting.
“It was a great night and it was good to get my first maximum of the year,” he said.
“I have been on a few at Swindon and I had to pull out of some races, so it was good to finally do it in such a big win.
“I love riding on tracks with good dirt on it, and it seemed really good, but I had to be on the gas to get the wins.”
The meeting got off to a false start after King hit the deck in both of the first two runs of heat one, and after he was eventually excluded Andersen slipped under Ben Barker to take victory in his opening ride.
Guest Dakota North, in for the injured Dawid Lampart, seemed to halt Simon Stead’s progress as he chased down eventual heat two winner Martin Smolinski, before Kildemand and Doyle did what they have done all season to claim a 5-1 in heat three.
Batchelor left the field for dead in heat four, but it was guest North who made the hard yards for the visitors as he made a good pass on GP rider Pedersen down the back straight to secure their second straight maximum.
An electric start from Andersen was enough for him to win heat five, but Nick Morris trailed in at the back as the Brummies packed the minor places.
An early tactical ride from King failed to pay off as it was his teammate Barker who took the win with the home skipper back in third behind Batchelor, and although the Brummies picked up a 5-2, it wasn’t enough to put them back within touching distance.
Two unsatisfactory starts halted progress in heat seven, but when the riders did eventually make it away from the tapes the red lights were soon slammed on again as Smolinski was excluded for taking out Doyle’s front wheel. Kildemand went on to win the heat after a smooth pass on Pedersen in the first corner.
Barker won heat eight from the tapes with ease, but all the action came in the battle for second and third as Smolinski held off the rampant Morris for four laps to earn the home side their first 5-1 of the night and cut the deficit to five.
Stead lost control and clattered into the side of Batchelor and was excluded in heat nine, but the Australian felt no ill effects from his tumble and picked himself to round both Ulamek and Auty on the first bend of the third lap. Auty himself hit the deck before the race was awarded.
The home fightback was quickly brought to a crashing end as Kildemand rounded everyone in the first corner of the next race, and he was backed up well by his partner Doyle all the way for another 5-1.
Andersen was excluded for delaying the start of the 11th race following two rolling starts, but it didn’t seem to affect his partner Morris as he stormed round the home duo in turn one to claim victory, with Andersen coming in last after going off 15-metres.
Kildemand produced another piece of magic to sweep round the outside of turn one to go on and win heat 12, and the Robins task got easier in heat 13 as Pedersen was excluded despite being sent into the fence by his teammate King.
The Robins pairing of Batchelor and Andersen took full advantage to earn a 5-1 which extended the lead to 14 points, and it got better in the penultimate race as Doyle took victory after Nicolas Covatti came off on his own.
Batchelor and Kildemand put the icing on the cake in the final race, on what was a magnificent night for Swindon speedway.