Claus Vissing watched as six of the Edinburgh Monarchs squad received their 2013 race bibs at the club’s press launch in Bathgate last week.
The final body colour remained unclaimed and the Danish rider was still unsure if he would eventually get the chance to wear it.
With Australian Sam Masters’ visa application stalled, though, Monarchs opted to sign Vissing on loan from Peterborough Panthers instead and the tall 26-year-old will make his debut when the Capital outfit open their season at Shielfield tomorrow night against Berwick Bandits.
Vissing said: “I feel sorry for Sam, but I have been looking for a team spot for quite a while and I’m delighted to be joining a club like Edinburgh who have some very good people behind them.
“I have not ridden Armadale before, but it’s just a track like everywhere else. It’s a small circuit and that gives you a good home advantage.”
Vissing, who occupied the No. 1 role with Somerset Rebels for a spell in 2012, did not figure in their plans for this season, but he wasn’t jolted by his exclusion.
“I liked it at Somerset,” said Vissing. “There were a lot of nice people down there, but I needed to try something different this year and I’m glad that I have reached agreement with Edinburgh, it’s a big change for me.”
Vissing is of an equal standard to Masters in terms of averages, so the dynamics of Monarchs’ new-look squad will not be disrupted to any great degree, and he is hopeful of resuming the type of form he showed last season. “I was pretty satisfied with they way I rode at the start of last season,” he said. “I was unlucky to suffer a bad accident in the middle of the campaign, otherwise I would have carried that form into this year.
“When I came back from injury my goal was to finish the season the way I had started it, and I think I almost managed that.”
The Premier League is a division Vissing feels comfortable with, explaining: “You don’t get so many meetings or outings in the Elite League, you get a lot more in the Premier League and that’s why I prefer it there.
“It’s still good, though, to double-up in the Elite League, just to keep your form going.”
Vissing could make an instant impact at Berwick having narrowly lost out on winning the Ben Fund Bonanza event at the Borders track earlier this month when he was caught napping by King’s Lynn’s Mads Korneliussen in the race-off final. “I could hear him coming,” said Vissing, “but I didn’t realise he was that close!”
With most of the Monarchs team short of practice because of the weather, this trip to Berwick can’t come soon enough for them. And the added spice will be coming up against former Monarchs captain Matthew Wethers, who joined the Bandits over the winter.
Bandits team boss Ian Rae said: “Matty spent ten years with Edinburgh and is looking forward to this fresh challenge with us. He has had some very good meetings at our place in the past and I’m glad he is on our side now.
“He also joined us on a low average, which made him all the more attractive to us.”
Monarchs also visit Ashfield on Sunday to face Glasgow Tigers in the first leg of this year’s Spring Trophy contest.