Wolverhampton ace Fredrik Lindgren swaps his usual Monday Wolverhampton commitments for International duty in Germany tonight.
Lindgren is part of a powerful Swedish line-up who contest the first qualifying meeting in the new World Junior Team Cup at Abensberg against Great Britain, Germany and a combined Hungary/Slovenia team.
The 'junior' tag is something of a misnomer, with Grand Prix regular Antonio Lindback also in the Swedish team and, in effect, it is an under-21 version of the World Cup. There has also been controversy even before the start with the United States pulling out of the event, as they have done in recent years in the full-scale World Cup.
Coventry team manager Peter Oakes, who takes responsibility for the GB team, said: "I think it is an absolute scandal that any nation should pull out after countries and riders have committed themselves to the meeting.
"What is worse is that the FIM (world speedway's governing body) have put in a joint Hungarian and Slovenian team to replace America. I couldn't believe it when I received the official notification.
"On paper, the Swedes look like the Chelsea of the competition, as most of them race in the top leagues around the world."
Oakes' team includes two riders with regular Elite League experience in Daniel King and Edward Kennett, while Coventry's Martin Smolinski will be in the home team's line-up.
The Individual World Under-21 Championship also gets underway this weekend, with Belle Vue staging one of the qualifying rounds on Sunday.
The meeting was initially allocated to Wolverhampton, but Monmore promoter Chris Van Straaten made it clear some time ago that this was done to ensure that Great Britain staged the event and he was happy to hand it over to Belle Vue once their winter track improvements had taken place. Smolinski and Rory Schlein give Coventry a double representation at the meeting.
Wolverhampton, 48- 45 derby winners over Coventry last Monday, currently have a rest from action as they are not due back on track until their visit to Ipswich on Thursday.
That break is a source of frustration for Mikael Max, who returned to top form with a 12-point haul against the Bees, one week after missing a home meeting due to a cancelled flight.
Max said: "I don't know what to do with myself, it's a very quiet May. Usually I'm getting ready for the Grand Prix, so it's strange not to be involved.
"I was pleased to get some points against Coventry and it would not have looked good if I had not scored well. I was very disappointed not to get here for the Eastbourne match. I would do anything to get to a match and riding for Wolverhampton is my life."
The Swede did manage a ride in his home Grand Prix, won by Jason Crump, last Saturday, as he was a track reserve and came into Heat 4 when Coventry's Scott Nicholls touched the tapes.
The Bees launch their Knockout Cup campaign with a home match against Swindon on Friday.