This past weekend saw a 12 strong contingent of British racers take on a swelteringly hot and extremely difficult Enduro GP of Portugal, in Valpaços.
Reigning Enduro GP World Champion, Steve Holcombe, continued his winning ways from round 1 in Germany and took the overall victory and Enduro 3 Class victory on day 1. In 2nd overall it was another Brit, also mounted upon a Beta, Bradley Freeman. He clinched the Enduro 1 Class victory too. The next Brit on the scorecard was Manxman Daniel McCanney, and you didn’t have to look far down the results to find him. He finished 4th overall and 2nd to Holcombe in Enduro 3. Joe Wootton had an unfortunate technical difficulty with his Husqvarna so he carded a DNF.
On Day 2 the tables were turned and Freeman pipped Holcombe to the overall victory. McCanney had a difficult start to the day but clawed his way back to finish 4th once again. Joe Wootton really had a weekend of poor luck and an administrative error was made causing him to lose a minute on a check point somehow.
In the Junior category Jack Edmondson had a good ride aboard the Sherco 300 on day one and finished in 4th Overall Junior Class and 2nd in Junior 2. On Day 2 he managed to bag a podium (3rd place) in the Junior overall classification and another P2 in Junior 2. Alex Walton shocked a lot of people with his pace in the first lap of the race but a few mistakes and lack of consistency throughout the day meant he slipped back to 17th Junior and 9th Junior 1 for Day 1. A sore wrist meant he rode conservatively on day 2 but still had a good result with another top 10 in Junior 1.
In the Youth 125 Class the only Brit was Dan Mundell. He has had 8 weeks off of the bike and came into Portugal with no expectations nor bike time, so to come away with a pair of 5th place finishes was respectable.
In the new ‘Open World Cup’ there was a full fleet of brits competing. Former World Champ David Knight was among them, and he took a pair of victories in the Senior 37+ Open category, and 2nd overall in the Open Cup Class.
In the Open 4 stroke class it was Tom Ellwood aboard the Kawasaki 450 that took top honours on both days, and also the overall Open Cup Class win ahead of Knight which was a great result for his first GP. Scotsman Fraser Flockhart showed great pace but needs to iron out some mistakes and crashes if he wants to challenge Ellwood further next week in Spain. He still made it a British 1-2 both days, and great points for his championship attack.
Richard Tucker took his Sherco to a pair of 4th place finishes despite saying he struggled to get into it on Day 1, but he definitely kept his championship fire burning. He is certainly still one of the firm favourites!!
Darren Kiff took on the challenge of the Open Senior class but retired on Day one. After some recovery this week he will be back in action next weekend in Spain!
Report by Tristan Young
Photos by Fred Cauchy