Steve Holcombe has made a hugely positive start to his 2017 Enduro World Championship campaign, consistently running at the front of the newly formed EnduroGP class and ending the GP of Finland fifth on day one and as runner-up on day two.
Despite the disadvantage of being one of the very first riders onto each of the weekend’s 26 special tests, the 2016 Enduro 3 World Champion completed a near mistake free event in the frozen conditions. Adjusting quickly to racing with spiked tyres, Steve settled into the first day before upping his pace during the last five hours of the race. Disappointingly, a bent front brake disk hampered his hopes of a top three result. Nevertheless, he ended day one in a strong fifth in the EnduroGP class, and as the second highest non-Scandinavian rider.
Feeling confident from the start of day two Steve challenged for the EnduroGP class win, battling with day one winner Antti Hellsten. Winning two of the day’s special tests, including the near 11-minute long test 10, Steve brought the opening round of the 2017 EnduroGP World Championship to an impressive close with a runner-up result.
Steve Holcombe: “Overall I’m really pleased with the way the GP of Finland’s ended for me. Like a lot of riders I prepared as best I could but there was still a lot that I wasn’t really sure about. The event has one hell of a reputation for being tough, so to finish fifth in class on day one and second on day two is great. It’s a fantastic start to the championship. I was a little frustrated on day one if I’m honest. Being one of the very first riders onto the tests certainly wasn’t an advantage. On test 10 I crashed and bent by front disk. In any conditions that’s never a good thing, but here it was really tough. That was disappointing because at that point I was just starting to find my speed. I really went for it on day two, and things went well. Not seeing the tests before riding them meant that I was never really at 100%, but I gave it everything and got a great second place result, which I’m really pleased with. All in all it’s been a challenging event, but I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been a real team effort. It’ll be back to work soon in preparation for round two in Spain.”
RESULTS – ENDUROGP OF FINLAND, DAY 1 1. Antti Hellsten (Husqvarna) 3:03:25:49; 2. Marko Tarkkala (Husqvarna) 3:04:49:38; 3. Aleksi Jukola (KTM) 3:05:21:66… 5. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 3:06:50:93 RESULTS – ENDUROGP OF FINLAND, DAY 1 1. Antti Hellsten (Husqvarna) 2:14:22:63; 2. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 2:15:01:16; 3. Matt Phillips (Sherco) 2:15:22:25…