Italian Enduro: Holcombe in charge as 2021 sparks into life
Steve Holcombe and Brad Freeman picked up where they left off last season by taking a one-two result at the opening round of the 2021 Italian Enduro Championship which saw elite riders from the EnduroGP World Championship kicked their new season into life.
The 350 rider entry list at the opening round of the 2021 Italian Enduro season reads like a who’s who of world championship enduro with riders from the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic and Canada occupying the top 30 placings.
The story of the day though was a familiar one. The Beta Factory Racing duo of Steve Holcombe and Brad Freeman began 2021 just as they have left off 2020 by setting the pace across the 18 tests and looking like they are playing a different sport to finish well-over one minute clear of third-placed Hamish Macdonald.
2021 Italian Enduro Championship round one in a nutshell:
- The opening Italian Championship was held at Passirano in Brescia and saw riders face an Enduro test eight times, a Cross test seven times and an Extreme test three times.
- Sherco Racing saw new signing, Belgian Antoine Magain, start the day by topping the opening test which also saw the new TM Racing GP manager Deny Philippaerts, unfortunately crash and fracture his collarbone.
- Freeman held the lead until the end of the second lap but Holcombe stormed the final lap for a victory margin of 14 seconds having taken eight of the 18 tests in total.
- “I just played it steady really.” Said Holcombe. “It took the opening lap to knock the race rust off and get back into the swing of special tests again. As the day progressed, I increased my pace little by little, picked up a few test wins and got the job done.”
- New Zealander Hamish MacDonald was best of the rest, impressively finishing in front of some seriously experienced names having also posted a fast set of final lap tests.
- Will Ruprecht took the Team Boano TM to fourth overall ahead of Magain in fifth and closely followed by his fellow Sherco Racing teammate, Danny McCanney looking good on the two-stroke 300.
- Another Boano Racing rider Matteo Pavoni was first Italian rider home, a surprise given the company he’s keeping. Pavoni took seventh and the Junior class win ahead of Enrico Rinaldi and Claudio Spanu (in class).
- Next best Italian rider overall was another new TM Racing signing, Matteo Cavallo ahead of an extreme enduro guy you might have heard of Manuel Lettenbichler getting in some pre-season training between the tapes. New official GASGAS pilot (we hope you’re keeping up with all these?!) Andrea Verona rounded the top 10.
2021 Italian Enduro Championship round one results:
Full results: www.italianoenduro.com
2021 Italian Enduro Championship video highlights:
Photo Credit: Enduro21 | Andrea Belluschi