All content © Bob MuIIins
STEVE HOLCOMBE AND THE ENGLISH TEAM WIN ISDE 2022
In Le Puy-en-Velay, a characteristic village in the Haute-Loire department of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, the 96th edition of the Six Days took place. After a splendid presentation of the participating national teams on Saturday 27 August, the first of the six scheduled days was run on the following Monday. The French organisers divided the first five race days into three loops. Among the locations chosen for this Six-Day event were: on Day 1 and 2, the village of Haute-Loire was chosen for the start of the race, followed by the Haut-Allier and Gévaudan areas, where five Cross Tests were held. On Day 3 and 4, the race course started in the village of Haute-Loire, then moved on to Lozère, and finished in Langogne, after tackling three Cross Tests and two Enduro Tests. The fifth day's route saw our riders competing in three Enduro Tests and two Cross Tests, always starting in Haute-Loire, before moving on to Le Puy-en-Velay and finishing the day in Emblavez. For the eagerly awaited final on Saturday 3 September, the organisers finally chose the Cross course just a short walk from the paddock at Le Puy-en-Velay.
The two official Beta riders, Brad Freeman and Steve Holcombe, were both invited to the British team to take part in the Trophy. Unfortunately, during the GP in Slovakia Brad Freeman was injured and fractured his sternum, resulting in the inevitable decision not to participate in the 96th edition of the Six Days.
Steve Holcombe, on the other hand, rode an excellent Six Days leading the British National Team to victory. Steve and his team started with the brake pulled and finished the first day in provisional third position. However, from the second day of racing Steve Holcombe set a great pace by finishing fourth and leading the British National Team to the top of the Trophy standings. The official Beta rider picked up individual fourth positions until the fifth day of racing, giving England a considerable lead over the pursuers, Italy and Spain in primis.
The final was then handled impeccably by Steve Holcombe and the other British riders, leading England to its final victory, which had been missing since 1928.
"First and foremost, I want to express my happiness for having led, together with my teammates, to the victory of the British national team, which had been missing since 1928. I am happy with my performance throughout the six days of competition. I am not yet in one hundred per cent physical condition but I think that for the last of the Absolute and the last round of the World Enduro Championship I will be able to express myself at my best.
The French Six Days was a wonderful experience and the race course, with its incredible, technical and very fast special stages, thrilled me from day one.
My bike's performance was perfect throughout the six days of the race and for this I want to thank my mechanic Luca and the entire Beta Factory Enduro Team."