Edinburgh Monarchs have completed their 2015 line-up by snapping up young German star Erik Riss, who became the youngest-ever winner of the World Longtrack Championship in September.
The 19-year-old ider was recommended to the Capital speedway club by fellow countryman Kevin Wolbert, who rejoined Monarchs three weeks ago. Riss has been keen to break into British speedway for a while and is delighted that Monarchs have handed him his big chance.
He said: “I’m very pleased to be joining Edinburgh. I know they are the league champions and I already know Kevin very well – I’m looking forward to riding alongside him.
“I have two bikes in Germany and I will be bringing them across to Edinburgh. I plan to stay in the UK when Edinburgh have a busy schedule of matches, but I will return to Germany when I have matches there.”
Riss admits his success in capturing the World Longtrack title came as a bit of a surprise. “I didn’t expect to win, although I thought I had a chance. But to become the youngest winner of the crown was really special.”
Riss is inexperienced in speedway terms and has only ridden 30 competitive meetings over three seasons. But he finished last season on a personal high, clocking up 11 points for his German club, Landshut, in their Play-Off Final.
“I realise I have only been riding for three years, but I’m keen to get better. Landshut operate in the first division in Germany and just narrowly missed out on winning the league championship last season. But I think we improved as a team overall in 2014.”
His father, Gerd, was a multiple World Longtrack champion and also a useful speedway rider.
“My father was the best German rider in the 90s,” said Riss. “He was a wildcard entry in the German Grand Prix and finished fourth, which wasn’t too bad.”
Riss added: “I have heard a lot about Edinburgh through social media sites and I might be able to help some of the Edinburgh riders get some meetings in Germany.”
Monarchs team: Craig Cook, Sam Masters, Justin Sedgmen, Kevin Wolbert, Erik Riss, Max Clegg, Robert Branford.