CHAMPIONSHIP newcomers Plymouth have captured the headline signing of double World Cup winner and Pirates legend Bjarne Pedersen.

The experienced Dane is going into his farewell season and returns to British speedway for the first time since 2016, having also joined Premiership club Peterborough.

Pedersen, who was world number six in 2005, has three top-flight British titles under his belt with Poole.

He is the second-highest points scorer in Pirates’ history but is now set to oppose the Wimborne Road outfit following Plymouth’s promotion to the second tier.

Gladiators promoter Mark Phillips said: “I want everyone in speedway to be talking about Plymouth – and I’m convinced they will be now we have begun to make signings.

“I’ve got big ambitions for the club. There’s no way we want to be the minnows and I am sure we are going to shake up a few people if I can sign some of the riders I am currently talking to.

“Bjarne is the first rider to come on board and it is hard to think of a bigger name. He has so much experience at the very highest level and, with it being his last season, he definitely wants to go out with a bang.

“You only have to look at what he has achieved in speedway to realise what a stupendous signing he is, and I am delighted to have got him.”