Steve Holcombe claims 2023 Welsh Open Sprint Enduro Championship
Victory for Alex Snow at the final round doesn’t stop Steve Holcombe claiming the 2023 Welsh Open Sprint Enduro Championship crown.
Away from the limelight and pressure of the EnduroGP World Championship, Steve Holcombe has been quietly ticking off the Welsh Open Sprint Enduro Championship this season.
The current EGP points leader has contested some UK races on his Beta RR 125 two-stroke and has been using the four-round series as enduro R&R, as well as high-intensity training on well-designed tests at natural enduro venues.
In preparation for next weekend’s final round of the Italian Enduro Championship (and the first of the final two rounds of the world championship in Portugal at the end of this month) Steve switched back to his EnduroGP weapon of choice, the 350 four-stroke this weekend.
125 two-stroke last weekend at the Rhayader 2-Day Enduro to 350 four-stroke factory race weapon is quite a jump and it was slow start for the seven-times world champion as Alex Snow and Alex Walton took charge of the early tests.
It was a challenging course on the hills just above Llanidloes in mid-Wales but run in glorious sunshine, very different conditions to those experienced at the opening round of the season. Hard technically and rough physically, the test times were close between the top five riders which included Holcombe, Snow and Walton, plus Harry Houghton and Dan Mundell.
A lengthy crash in test five of seven cost Holcombe around 10 seconds on his own marker, while Snow again went fastest to establish a lead. Despite Steve getting quicker with every test, including a remarkable fastest of all in the final test when it was at its roughest, the reigning British Enduro Champion Snow took the final round win with Holcombe second and Walton third.
2023 Welsh Open Sprint Enduro round four results (top 20):
Second was enough for Steve to claim the 2023 Welsh Open Sprint Enduro title, a series which has attracted a lot of praise this year for the quality of the events and venues.
Overall the series has proved popular with depth to the classes, including a lot of youth and female riders, with some promising riders coming through the ranks.
With world-class riders right there to aim measure themselves against, and such a good level of enduro tests, events like this are encouraging in more ways than one. Roll on 2024.
Find full results on Welsh Open Sprint Championship Facebook page.