ISDE 2019 Team GB announced – World Championship rivals united for Portugal

Trio of EnduroGP winners and reigning world champions lined up as Team Great Britain is announced for the FIM International Six Days Enduro 2019 in Portugal. 

 

The main contenders for the FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) are beginning to fall in to place with the announcement from the Team Great Britain manager, Daryl Bolter of his for the Trophy, Junior and Women’s rider line-up:

2019 Team GB ISDE Trophy Team:

Steve Holcombe

Brad Freeman

Danny McCanney

Joe Wootton

2019 Team GB Junior Trophy Team:

Dan Mundell

Alex Walton

Jed Etchells

2019 Team GB Women’s Trophy Team:

Jane Daniels

Rosie Rowett

Nieve Holmes

 
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The announcement comes as many of the team members knuckle down for eh final two EnduroGP rounds of 2019 – with two main riders vying for the EGP title, Brad Freeman and Steve Holcombe also set to be team-mates come November in Portugal.

We caught up with Team GB ISDE manager, Daryl Bolter following the team news to get a better understanding of his riders and how things are progressing towards the main event in Portimao…

 

Quite obviously the Trophy team gets some strong interest with proven EnduroGP winners and world champions within it – firstly how good is it to have that luxury to pick those guys?

Daryl Bolter: “funnily enough I initially thought the rules might change and we would have six riders to choose from this year which would have been a real pleasure because Britain has some incredible riders operating at the highest level of enduro. 

“The Six Days can be a difficult one because in the past it has fallen within the EnduroGP season and for many riders that puts it off the radar because their focus is on their main job, and rightly so.

“This year it has fallen well for the championships to be finished and that means my job has been easier because I have been able to pick the riders who are at the top of their game and the top of the sport.”

They have two rounds of EnduroGP left where they will surely give it everything – are you fingers crossed neither will injure himself while still wishing them all the best?

“I’ve always said to the riders their priority is on the World Championship, they are paid to do that and that is what they should be concentrating on. But having said that I’m going to be watching and enjoying the battle between Steve and Brad like everyone else but I will have my fingers crossed no-one hurts themselves.”

 
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Who’s gonna win the World title?!

“…aahh, that is so difficult because both riders have what it takes to be EnduroGP World Champion. Brad has a slight advantage of momentum and the points lead but Steve has the experience knowing what it takes to see a championship out. 

“I hope they both stay healthy and fight it out to the end and both riders will appreciate that the best rider in these next two GPs will have earned the title.”

Jamie McCanney has put in some strong performances this season on an enduro bike but his focus for the second half of the season is on Dakar and Rally – was it a shame to not have him?

“Yeah and he was really keen to ride, he has had good results especially in some of the big French races. He is a proven fast rider on a 250 four stroke so he was a strong contender for that place and riding in that class.

“But his commitments with Yamaha have changed and he is now focused on rally so good luck to him.

“That is not to knock Joe (Wootton) who was happy to move to a smaller capacity 250F with the other team riders all sticking with the bikes they currently race at GPs. Joe is obviously a very good rider and no question he will be a good member of the team.”

 
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Was the Junior Trophy team harder to pick? We hear some of the likely contenders of the team ruled themselves out?

“Not ruled themselves out so much as weren’t in the position to rule themselves in enough. They were not able to commit strongly enough to the event and the team because they weren’t sure what events they were doing at that point of the year or were not sure what team they might be racing in.

“I wanted to get things sorted out and in place by this stage in the season so we can do everything as best we can and not be playing the lastminute.com game. 

“It is harder with the age limit of under 23 in the Juniors to decide the team because it was a question of whether to go with experienced riders who race at the highest levels or to go with a completely fresh team who come in with no pressure and full of energy.

“The thing is I firstly want to finish the event, that is the priority. But I firmly believe we can get both teams on the podium and that is my goal with the Junior Team as much as the focus might naturally be on the Trophy Team.”

 
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What about the Women’s team?

“Yeah, really that is part of my remit but not really so to speak because Mick Seward is in charge of that team so I can focus on the Trophy and Junior squads.

“That team is still very strong mind you with Jane Daniels, Rosie Rowett and Nieve Holmes who are all very experienced and motivated riders.”

 
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Steve Holcombe seems to be really getting involved and 'on the money' in terms of wanting things to happen – is he the team leader, both in terms of success but also being motivated and really helping pull things together?

“Really Steve is a model to any rider, with such a lot of enthusiasm for the team, the event and the sport. If a young rider asked me how to conduct himself and how he or she should go about being a professional rider in any bike sport I would say be like Steve. 

“He has been very pro-active in terms of helping with the team, always he is quick to sort things out, give answers or even the simple things like replying to messages. 

“He’s also been very helpful in terms of trying to raise funds for the team and even helping with the details about the team helmets and shirts, this kind of thing.

“In terms of being a leader he is on top of the world so is a natural guy to follow but I think mainly out there in Portugal I expect his professionalism and enthusiasm to set the example the others will naturally want to emulate.”

 
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GB have the riders to compete, but is the attitude within the camp realistic? Do a lot of things need to fall into place in order to deliver what on paper they should be capable of?

“Look, I lived in Italy when I was racing for an Italian team and I know the differences in the way that country and national federation is set-up to run their ISDE teams and I know from experience that is also the case with other big teams.

“It is not the case in the UK because the event and the sport is simply not as big. The ACU have been brilliant and have upped their funding for us this year – really they are doing everything they can to help and we are trying harder than ever.

“We need more though and that is a cold, hard fact. We thank everyone who has supported us so far and it is such a big help what people have donated already but we need more, no matter how small or big and we can achieve our goal.”

People are very welcome to get in touch via the ACU British ISDE Team Facebook pagepage or via daryl.bolter@icloud.com 

 
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Photo Credit: Future7Media/Andrea Belluschi
 
 
 
 
Byline jp ISDE 2018 Enduro21
Jon Pearson
Enduro21 Editor and Bike Tester
jon.pearson@enduro21.com