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Speedway: JESPER'S HAIR TO STAY; ACE HAS THE STYLE TO BOOST WOLVES.

Byline: Graham Hill

WOLVES speedway ace Jesper J. Jensen has warned it could be hair today, gone tomorrow at Monmore Green this year.

Jensen made his mark on Wolves' televised meetings last season with his spectacular haircuts.

The Danish star dyed his hair in some eye-catching designs.

But Jensen says that Wolves fans will have to wait and see whether he repeats the stunts this time around... it all depends on whether he can dodge his sister!

'I had orange hair with black spots one time, ' he said.

'Then, for another match, I had it coloured like a black and white chequered flag.

'And then I dyed it purple after that. So I like to try different things.'

Treatment

Jensen's wacky hairstyles are not a product of Wolverhampton though. He gets the the colouring treatment whenever he is back home in Denmark.

'My sister Marie does it,' smiled Jensen. 'But I'm not sure about this season yet, we'll have to wait and see how it goes.

'I'll know more when I go home next time. Every time I do something like that it's because my sister has given me some stick. I try to dodge her but I usually give in eventually.

'I don't plan it in advance, but it's just a bit of fun. Maybe we'll see something like that again this year. People seem to like it though.

'She's not a hairdresser though! But she can cut hair well. Maybe if another rider tries something like that then I'll do it.

'The only problem is that it takes a long time to grow out again.'

Wolves go into the new season billed as 20-1 Elite League outsiders.

Sam Ermolenko skippers them into the new campaign with Jensen, and Swedish star Mikael Karlsson, backing him up.

But they also have promising youngsters in Paul Hurry and another Swede, Daniel Nermark.

And Jensen is determined to prove the bookmakers wrong about the Parrys International sponsored side.

'We don't think we're outsiders at all, even if others do,' he said.

'We're pretty strong down to the last man. Other teams tend to have a strong top and a weak bottom, but I think we can do well.

'This is my fifth season at Wolverhampton now, and I feel like I'm part of the track. And with Sam Ermolenko here it means there's a rider at Wolves whose experience the younger ones can draw on.

'He knows the track inside out so he's a great guy to have around.

Impressive

'But I'm starting to get there myself and do my own thing.'

This is considered a make-or-break year for Jensen after collecting an impressive eight points plus average last term.

He will be dividing his time between three other clubs though, in Poland, Sweden and Denmark.

But he admits he will cut down on his commitments during 2001.

'Last year, I did 115 meetings, but this time it's only 95!' said Jensen.

'It was a little bit too much, but it gave me a lot of experience for the future.'

Jensen says he put himself through a punishing list of fixtures.

'I would race in Wolverhampton on a Monday,' he said. 'Then, the next morning, I would take a plane from Manchester to Sweden. I would ride there in the evening, then go to Denmark and ride there on the Wednesday.

'After that, it was back to England to ride again. On the Sunday, I would go to Poland.

'Not every week was like that, but many were. I quickly found out that airport waiting lounges are the most boring places in the world!'

Wolves promoter Chris van Straaten believes speedway can continue its rise in popularity this season. As well as coverage on Sky TV, the satellite station now sponsors the League.

'Two years ago, the Elite League promoters gambled pounds 500,000 just to get on live television,' he explained. 'And I mean gamble - it was a huge risk. But it's turned out to be very successful and the move worked.

'The audience figures were good and Sky were happy. We didn't have to pay anything last year.

'And now Sky are so keen that they've entered into a five-year sponsorship deal.

'We now hope that speedway can 'do a football'.'

CAPTION(S):

STYLE... JesperJ Jensen looks the part - on his bike and with his hair cuts
COPYRIGHT 2001 Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Mar 25, 2001
Words:727
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