NEWS Thursday 13th January 2022, 2:56pm
Norway's Lasse Fredriksen has been waiting quite a while to become a fully-fledged Edinburgh Monarch, and finally it will be happening for 2022.
He wanted a place in 2019 but in the end didn't get one. He had a place in the proposed 2020 team but was halted in mid-journey to the UK when the seriousness of the Covid situation became apparent, and he was initially included in the 2021 side until Rising Star and Visa issues forced changes.
He said "I feel even more ready now than I was when this all started! I'm looking forward to getting over and meeting my team mates who I am sure will be good guys. I know Kye Thomson because I raced with him in Denmark, and I have spoken with the captain Sam Masters when I first thought I was going to join."
Lasse is Norwegian Champion, having defeated countryman Mathias Pollestad in the final of the most recent event. He rates Pollestad too, saying "He's a very calm guy on a bike, and we get on well. He lives just about 20 minutes from me. I was pleased to win the Championship Final from him, I felt it was important!"
Lasse's 2021 season was spent with Valsarna in Sweden and Holsted in Denmark. He says "I was living in Denmark and I started late, probably the end of May up until mid September. It was a slow start but by June I felt I was going pretty well.
"Of course I rode at Glasgow in the Grand Prix qualifier, and if you ask me if I was happy with how I went I would say 'Yes and No'.
"I was riding Sam Jensen's bike and I found it quite small! By my last couple of rides I was feeling comfortable.
"I have invested quite a lot in my machinery. Because I did not come across in the last couple of years I have had time to work and raise money.
"Although there are not many sponsors in Norway, I do get some help. My uncle who runs a local pub helps me, and a few others."
So it's a total of two meetings the Norwegian has had in the UK so far. He says "I hope to go to Brian Karger's Training camp in France in mid-March. It's not 100% but if I do I may come over straight after that."
When he gets here it will be the end of a long wait which started in 2019. He's now 24 and welcomes the chance to test himself with a summer's racing in Britain. We'll not be calling him "The New Reidar Eide" just yet but we wish him every success as a Monarch.