STOKE Easy Rider Potters were left with plenty to think about before tonight's Premier Trophy campaign kick-off after falling to a hefty 55-37 defeat to a Danish Select side on Saturday.
Only Garry Stead emerged with any real credit as too many of the Stoke riders had problems with their machinery against a side which included three Elite League riders.
Preparation must be stepped up before the Easy Rider Potters face Birmingham home and away this week.
Manager John Adams said: 'There was a stage when I thought we looked like holding the Danes. But they just pulled away midway through and we couldn't really peg them back.
'These meetings are designed to iron out any niggles and I very much doubt we will come across as strong a side as this one again all season.'
Stead had two race wins on the night, the latter coming in Heat 12 when he brought the house down after a titanic battle with Swindon's Mads Korneliussen.
He said: 'It's so good to go out and know that your opponent will give you enough room to race hard but fair. Three times Mads got round the outside of me but each time I found room to come back at him and there was just inches in it on the line.'
Jack Hargreaves scored 5+1 but lost points in Heats 8 and 14. 'I made the gate in Heat 8 and was leading when the bike started slowing due to fuel starvation,' he said.
Stoke travel to Premier League newcomers Birmingham tonight, with the return at Loomer Road on Saturday.
Promoter Dave Tattum said: 'It's a tough but exciting group to be in and we are looking for good performances in both meetings. We've chatted things through with the riders and I am quite sure that we will give a good account of ourselves.'