“It’s going to be a completely different race than last year!”
In Finland for a week already, we had a chat with reigning EnduroGP Champion, Steve HOLCOMBE (GB – Beta) about his training there, the weather conditions and how he feels, three weeks before the start of the 2018 season…
Hello Steve, how is going the training in Finland so far?
Steve HOLCOMBE: “Training here has been good so far! We’ve made good progress with the bike set-up and have been able to fine tune a few details to make sure we are prepared for the first GP. Petteri SILVAN has been helping me a lot to prepare and his guidance has been crucial in adapting to these conditions. I’ve had great support from Snellman motorsports, the Beta importer here too. My first race of 2018 will be here in Finland so it’s a good test of man and machine before we jump into the GP season.”
How are the conditions there? It seems we’ll have more snow and ice this year…
S.H: “The conditions here are a lot different than last year. They’ve had a lot more snow and the temperature is much colder. This time last year when I was here the night was -5 and day +3°C. Now the night is -25°C and the day -11. The snow is 50-80cm deep where as last year it was maybe 5cm and the majority of places it was only ice.”
So, it will be a much more tactical race than a year ago…
S.H: “If the conditions stay the way they are and the locals think it will, it’s going to be a completely different race. Bike set up is so important in these conditions and it’s so much more physical the riding. Because of the snow ruts you literally sit down everywhere. Sounds easy but this are where set-up comes into play and how much it takes a toll on your body as you are riding a different style. My ass has never been in so much pain.”
Talking about you, are your ready to defend your EnduroGP title?
S.H: “Physically I’m close but mentally I’m ready to fight. We still have a couple more weeks of preparation ahead of us just to finish off my pre season program. I’m in a much better position now physically and mentally than I was this time year. I’m feeling prepared and I’m more than ready and capable of defending my number 1 plate. I can’t wait for the GP to be here!”