Preview: Rounds 3&4 – 2014 Enduro21.com ACU British Sprint Enduro Championship, Powered by Husqvarna
23 April 2014
The Enduro21.com ACU British Sprint Enduro Championship, powered by Husqvarna Motorcycles picks up pace this coming weekend as the series moves to Saints Well in Mid Wales for rounds three and four.
A long-term fixture on the BSEC calendar, Saints Well will see a revised course for 2014. With new woodland available, the cross-country styles track will incorporate a great mixture of fast paced grassy tracks, an exciting motocross track as well as extreme sections and plenty of technical woodland trails.
Favourite to step up to the plate in the Michelin Comp VI Elite class is Beta’s Danny McCanney. The Manxman – who fought tooth and nail with Pela Renet at rounds one and two – has been in dominant form at the Enduro World Championship in Spain and Portugal. Taking four wins from four starts, McCanney has been the rider to beat in the Enduro Junior class in Europe and is expected to carry that winning form back to the BSEC. But with his brother Jamie returning to the BSEC having missed Canada Heights due to injury, he can’t afford to take things easy.
Missing in action due to a broken wrist, Husqvarna mounted Jamie McCanney is quickly getting back on pace. Also in Spain and Portugal to contest the EWC, McCanney ended his two-week trip on a high by joining his brother on the podium. Runner-up in the 2013 BSEC series, McCanney will be keen to make amends in Wales for his absence at rounds one and two.
But with a host of British riders all scoring brilliant rides at the opening round of the European Enduro Championship, Saints Well won’t be plain sailing for the Manx duo. Off pace at Canada Heights, Jamie Lewis (Husqvarna) had an excellent start to his EEC championship while also taking in top ten results at the EWC. As the current leader of the Senior E2 category in the EEC he’s expected to deliver a much stronger showing this time around.
Third overall at Canada Heights, KTM’s Tom Sagar is eager to keep that momentum rolling in Saints Well. Favouring the cross-country style going that the venue serves up, Sagar – also a race winner at the EEC – will be pushing hard to secure another podium result. Delivering impressive performance’s last time out, class rookie’s Jack Rowland (Husqvarna) and Steve Holcombe (KTM) will be in contention for a podium result. Just missing the cut at rounds one and two, both riders are eying up a top three finish.
Recovered from his injured thumb, which saw him sit out round two, Frenchman Fabien Planet (Sherco) will be battling hard to get his championship aspirations back on track in Wales. Add in KTM’s Daryl Bolter – a rider never to be counted out – plus Lee Edmondson (Beta), Mark Robert (KTM), Kevin Murray (KTM) and Rich Ely (KTM) and the Elite class is stacked in talent.
In the Husqvarna Under 23 category it was Rob Johnson (Husqvarna) that left Canada Heights with a double win. Despite only moving into the class for 2014, Johnson immediately established himself as the rider to beat. Twice second to Johnson, Scotland’s Frazer Norrie (KTM) is eager to get the better of Johnson this time around. But with Josh Gotts (TM) right in the mix, the battle for the top step of the podium is too close to call. Behind the leading trio, KTM’s James Dent and Fraser Flockhart will be trying their best to bridge the gap to Johnson, Norrie and Gotts.
Dominating the Motul Under 19 category, KTM’s Brad Freeman is the class favourite heading to Saints Well. Setting a pace few could match at Canada Heights – while also posting times that would rival the Elite class – Freeman will be out to make it four wins from four starts in Wales. Husqvarna’s Joe Wootton placed as runner-up to Freeman at Canada Heights and will be trying to close that gap on his rival in Wales. Behind the top two, Lee Sealey (Husqvarna), Antoine Criq (Beta) and Jon Hunt (Sherco), Charlie Frost (KTM) and Andrew Bull (KTM) will scrap it out for the remainder of the top five.
In the Enduro21.com 125 Youth class it was Jack Staines (KTM) who was the winner at Canada Heights. Claiming two runaway victories, Staines is hoping for a repeat result this weekend. Alex Walton (KTM), Jordan Ridgway (Husqvarna), Robbie Wallace (Yamaha) and Rob Armitage (Husqvarna) will be in the mix for a podium result.
With two wins from two starts, TM’s Carl Brogden is the early leader of the Amped Expert category. But with Carl Jones (KTM) and Charlie Evans (KTM) in close contention Brogden will need to deliver his best at Saints Well to ensure another winning result. Jamie Paget (Husqvarna), Sean Eckersley (KTM), Aaron Smith (Beta) and Dan Beaven (Sherco) wont be far away either.
Tied on points, both Phil Lewis (KTM) and Andrew Reeves (Beta) lead the Acerbis Expert Vet class. Neil Bowker (KTM) is third with Dave Coles (KTM) and Geoff Walker (Husqvarna) completing the top five.
Keith Jones (KTM) leads the USWE Clubman Vet category from Steve White (KTM) and Gary Jones (KTM).
Securing a double win in the DEP Pipes Clubman class Reece Morewood (Yamaha) got his championship off to a perfect start. But Jack Penhaligon (Husaberg) and Jamie Jenkins (Beta) were not far off and will try to turn the tables on Morewood in Saints Well.
Finally, in the TCX Women’s category Husqvarna’s Jane Daniels enjoyed a perfect start to the defence of her title at Canada Heights with maximum points. Katie Walker (KTM) and Rhian George (Husqvarna) will look to close the gap to Daniels.
Directions: The start area will be sign posted off the A483 – approx one mile north of Llanbister. Saints Well, Llanbister, Powys. Postcode: LD1 6PT
Entry Fee: Adults £10.00 each, two day admission. Under 14 year olds free.
Parking: Vehicles will be parked on a generous, flat parking area joining onto the rider’s paddock.
General info: Racing starts at 10.00am both days. A sighting lap (starts 9.00am) and four timed laps will take place during the morning session before a three/four lap afternoon session. On Sunday the event will end with a prize giving ceremony.