By Dick Law. In the world of enduro, British riders are on the up and up. And when the world championship series finished last year we had two world champions, a runner-up and a third-place man spread across the three classes. That’s four podium places out of a possible nine which is impressive.
One of those was Manxman Jamie McCanney, the 2013 world junior enduro champion who took second overall in Enduro2 in 2017.
MotoHead caught up with McCanney, the likeable 23-year-old from Douglas, just before throwing his leg over a big sand racing spec 450 Outsiders Yamaha at the start of his first attempt at the biggest beach race of the all at, Le Touquet.
MotoHead: At what age did you start racing?
Jamie: I started riding bike at the age of about four and moved on to motocross when I was old enough to race but I seemed to collect a lot of injuries. I was riding the British championship and was fighting for the Red Bull rookies’ championship in 2011 when I dislocated my shoulder badly and was out of racing six months. I would have had to turn pro that next year or go back to being an electrician.
MotoHead: Where did you get the bug for racing?
Jamie: My dad and my uncle use to race motocross at home on the Isle of Man and became local champions. Nothing to glamorous.
MotoHead: Why did you change from motocross to enduro?
Jamie: I was offered a deal to ride a 125 in enduro so it seemed to be going back to youth size bikes again but I would mean I would be riding as a professional enduro rider, so it was a good move.
MotoHead: You ride for Outsiders Yamaha. How that going?
Jamie: Yes, I started with them in 2017 so this will be my second year. They are a very professional and what they do and there set up and have a great image and the bikes are good and reliable.
MotoHead: What size machine will you be riding?
Jamie: I usually ride a 250F in enduros but for Le Touquet the 250 wouldn’t last so I am out on a full sand spec 450.
MotoHead: Do you like racing in sand?
Jamie: This is my first real go at a beach race. I turned up at a Red Bull knockout the other year without and training or practice, but I have been working hard at this one. But I don’t think I am 100% comfortable with it all as it’s been all a bit last minute as these things can be. It’s all good experience which will come in handy next time and I am riding one of the best bikes out there, the same as lots of the top riders in the race.
Jamie had a trouble-free race and finished the hard event in ninth place – an incredible result considering the uniqueness of the event and as it was his first attempt at it.