By Dick Law
As Nathan Watson held the winner’s trophy high after winning this year’s round seven of the Maxxis Enduro GP, world championship series leader and fellow Brit Steve Holcombe was left disappointed after a mechanical problem lost him two laps.
Holcombe was the leader of the event after the first day’s 12 special tests and was leading the three-hour race from Watson when the rear wheel of his Beta started to snap spokes and wobble about after taking a punishing on the Hawkstone Park rocks high about the motocross track.
Enduro riders in the world championship have to do their own repairs and that’s where Holcombe lost time and with it the chance of sewing up the championship at his home event.
Watson had set a steady pace, knowing that the heat and the severity of the course would take its toll on both riders and machines. But this tactic allowed Christophe Charlier to catch and pass him at about the halfway point.
But Charlier’s pass was all for nothing as with four laps to go, he crashed off his Husqvarna, damaging himself and his machine. And combined with the big blisters on his hands, chances are he won’t be in top form when he represents France in the Motocross of Nations at the weekend. He still managed to finish second to Watson in the GP category but was completely spent and had to sit down for the podium ceremony before medical personal were called.
Loic Larrieu was third overall with Holcombe managing to fight his way back to fifth for some more valuable championship points.
EMX300 champion Brad Anderson did well for his first ever enduro, finishing ninth. He left the event very tired and hurting but with a new respect for enduro racers.
Pascal Rauchenecker was very fast on his way to the overall win of the E2 category and crossed the finish line first after passing both Watson and Charlier on their bigger GP bikes.
Danny McCanney had a great second day after just missing out on a podium on day one as he passed his brother Jamie and day one winner Josep Garcia for second overall as Garcia slumped to third.
The junior enduro, or the EJ category was all about the ever smiling Bradley Freeman as he backed up his day one win on the special tests with a convincing win on day two.
Italian rider and series leader Davide Soreca was second but the pair go into the next round in Germany in two weeks’ time separated by just four points.
Ruy Barbosa won the youth part of the event from Leo Le Quere and Andrea Verona.