By Dick Law
British riders occupied the top two steps of the podium at the first day of racing at round seven of the Maxxis world enduro championship at Hawkstone park in Shropshire as Steve Holcombe took a decisive win over Nathan Watson after Watson messed up one of his enduro tests.
The sprint format was new to the enduro championships with riders doing six laps with a short break between them on the enduro test circuit, then six more laps of the motocross test.
Holcombe was ace on the twisty, wooded sections and set fastest test after fastest test while Watson slipped up on one of the sandstone rocks and lost 15 seconds, before remounting and sorting himself out. Those seconds would decide the outcome of the event.
When the top Enduro GP riders switched to the motocross test, Watson was in his element as he’s notched up many laps round the Hawkstone park track. The former MXGP man was fastest in five out of the six tests, but it wasn’t enough to steal the win from Holcombe.
Ex motocross GP rider Christophe Charlier just couldn’t match the pace of the two British riders and had to settle for the final place of the podium while fellow Frenchman Loic Larrieu just missed out of a podium by just over a second.
Spanish rider Josep Garcia won the Enduro2 class by just over 10 seconds from Finland’s Eero Remes while Jamie McCanney gave the partisan crowd something to cheer about by finishing third. Jamie’s brother Danny just missed out on his brother’s third place by just four seconds.
The Union Jack was flying once again over the top step of the podium in the enduro junior’s competition as Brad Freeman took a decisive win by just over 18 seconds from Sweden’s Albin Elowson and Italy’s Matteo.
As for the rest of the British riders on day one, EMX300 champ Brad Anderson was on it all day but even the fearless Anderson thought some of the tree lined down hills were a bit frightening. He finished a creditable eleventh in his first ever enduro.
Former world champ David Knight only competed five of the six enduro tests and had to pull out after knocking himself out. He couldn’t remember anything about the incident or even if he had crashed or not. But one of his fellow riders told him he hit his head on a low-hanging tree limb.
With excitement of day one over, day two looks to be even better especially with over 180 FastEddy riders have a two-hour race before the Enduro GP riders go out for their three-hour finale.