CRESCENT KTM STARS SHINE AT THE ISDE AND WESTON BEACH RACE
Busy time for Bolter and Holcombe
Crescent KTM Enduro racers Daryl Bolter and Steve Holcombe have had a busy time recently as the pair have represented their country at the International Six Days of Enduro and then headed straight to compete in the famous Weston Beach race.
The 88th edition of the ISDE took place in Olbia, Sardinia earlier this month and saw Bolter compete for Britain in the World Trophy team after a five-year absence, while Crescent’s young-star Holcombe was in his second appearance at the prestigious event. Bolter was making his KTM debut at the race and put his 350EXC-F to good use over six-days of difficult and demanding tests held in very hot and dusty conditions. He recorded a very impressive 34th overall – taking 18th in the E2 class - and helped the British team to sixth in the world. Due to some of the treacherous conditions, Bolter favoured a more cautious approach on some of the tests, he finished the week strongly and still in a good condition as he prepares to challenge for honours in the remaining rounds of the British championship competitions.
Holcombe found some of the going very tough over the six-days of intense competition, but the Crescent KTM racer overcame them to take a very impressive 10th place in the E1 class in the World Junior Trophy and his times helped the Great Britain team to record third place overall in the standings.
The pair then travelled to the Weston Beach race for the 31st running of this gruelling race. An impressively large crowd was on-hand to witness the challenges of a tough track and awful conditions. The persistent rain and salt water resulted in many riders being towed back to the pits or pushing their machines off the track. The Crescent KTM riders both battled on through the three-hour race and Bolter again showed his skill and determination to bring his road-registered machine home in sixth place, as the top Enduro rider of the day, in a race where he was up against some of the best UK motocross riders on bigger and more powerful machines. Holcombe also performed well at Weston, despite getting stuck on one of the huge sand dunes and losing a lap to some of his competitors, he still managed to race his Crescent KTM 250EXC-F to 22nd place in a field of over 400 finishers.
The Crescent KTM Enduro team will next be in action at the last round of the British Enduro Championship at Diss in Norfolk on Sunday 24th November.
“This was the centenary of the ISDE and having not ridden the event for a few years I thought if I was to do one more, this would be the one to do. The going was really good in places and in some cases very tough, which for us guys was good, but I can imagine that for some of the club riders it would have been hell. As for myself, my Crescent KTM 350EXC-F was awesome, although sometimes I didn’t feel 100% comfortable at the event, but that was to do with not being familiar with the ground, occasionally I felt like I was riding on the moon! The bike made my life a lot easier as I hardly had to tighten any bolts, nothing broke all week and the only thing I was changing was my tyres at the end of the day. I felt I rode ok, but I was a bit annoyed with myself with my results as I know I can ride faster than I was, but I just couldn't see past the danger factor - I guess that’s age for you! Speaking on behalf of the team, I think finishing sixth was a really good result considering the depth of talent in the teams in front of us
“After the Six Days what better way to ease yourself back into some British weather than to have a blast on a cold wet beach? Weston was all about having some fun as well as trying to get a good result, before the start of the race I looked at the riders’ list and said to myself if I could get top-six I would be a happy man. I got to the flood gates in a good position ready for a short blast to the first dune and then up the straight, I got over the first dune well and was in the top-10. I then looked at my speedo and was doing 90mph up the straight, but I was still being overtaken, it was pretty hectic. I finished the first-lap in about 16th, but with the way the course was and the weather, I knew it was to become a battle, so I didn’t push too hard and settled into a nice rhythm. I started to pick a few people off and then just before fuel stop the front brake had eaten all the pads, so I had to slow a bit and just keep plugging away, a few people then had their problems and I inherited some positions. With about three-laps to go the rear pads had all but gone, so the only thing stopping me was the sand! As I crossed the finish line I had no idea where I’d finished, but I was quickly told that I had in fact finished sixth, so I was happy with that and pleased to be the first Enduro rider.
“I’d like to thank everyone at Crescent and KTM UK, as well as all my sponsors, as the gear that I use is amazing. A big thanks to all the service crews that kept us going and all the people at the ISDE tests with much needed water and a special thanks to all the people that assisted me both in Sardinia and at Weston, they all helped make the events much better.”
“I feel I have learnt a lot from my second ISDE. I found the rocky terrain, heat and dust difficult to cope with and it was completely different to what I am used to riding on here in the UK. The dust berms just zapped the horsepower out of the bike, so you had to ride with your head and look for lines. The ruts got so deep and rough and with the mix of the rocks and dust it was mentally tiresome to ride.
“I felt good early on and put in some good test times which helped the junior team to third. During the middle of the week I felt exhausted by the heat and dust, but as the Six Days came to an end I felt I was beginning to get to grips with the conditions and finished the week well. My Crescent KTM didn’t have any problems all weekend and ran really well, all bar a couple of bent levers and a snapped hand-guard. Overall it was a good experience and I was honoured to be representing my country and being part of the junior team.
“The beach race was a very different to the ISDE, because the conditions were awful, it was very wet and a real tough day. The race didn't go as planned; I started well and was I was 10th on the first-lap, but then got stuck for about five minutes on a dune which they let everyone else go round! After that I didn’t have a very enjoyable ride around and I finished 22nd – still the day could've been worse!”