OFF ROAD

If the name Steve Hol­combe rings a bell give your­self a pat on the back. If not we are pleased to say he’s just be­come 2018 FIM En­duro GP World Champ…

BIKE (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Steve Hol­combe isn’t a house­hold name, but he should be…

IF YOU DON’T recog­nise Steve Hol­combe, don’t worry, you won’t be alone. How­ever, he is the other four-times world mo­tor­cy­cle cham­pion Bri­tain should be boast­ing about in 2018. Along­side World Su­per­bike Cham­pion, Jonathan Rea, Hol­combe is Bri­tain’s most suc­cess­ful mo­tor­cy­cle racer of re­cent times. Yet there are no flash cars and high-pro­file spon­sor­ship deals with Hol­combe; he is just a Devon lad who is ev­ery bit as ded­i­cated to his cause as any other world cham­pion. In En­duro GPS ev­ery class is el­i­gi­ble for the over­all world ti­tle – like Moto3, Moto2 and Motogp all com­ing to­gether for one over­all re­sult. Hol­combe won the ti­tle again in 2018, for the third suc­ces­sive year, plus his class (En­duro 3) to make it four. He also won the Mika Ahola ‘Brave One’ tro­phy for best ac­cu­mu­la­tive times across the sea­son (con­sis­tent best per­for­mance adding over­all race times) and the Su­per Test (com­bined qual­i­fy­ing) award. ‘It has been the per­fect sea­son when you put it like that,’ Steve ad­mits. I also won the Ital­ian Cham­pi­onship which was a nice ex­tra thing.’ As part of Steve’s three years at the top he has taken en­duro to an­other level, pro­fes­sion­ally speak­ing. Never be­fore had En­duro GPS seen per­sonal train­ers mas­sag­ing in the pad­dock, a rider ped­alling away on his static cy­cle be­tween rid­ing ses­sions or munch­ing dried fruit and nuts for en­ergy. Com­ments and side­ways glances soon evap­o­rated when Steve started win­ning. ‘I’m do­ing ev­ery­thing I can to make it hap­pen,’ says Steve. ‘If you’re go­ing to ded­i­cate your life to some­thing you might as well do ev­ery­thing to make it work. That means be­ing in the best shape, hav­ing the right team and bike, walk­ing tests over and over and be­ing in the right place men­tally.’ Walk­ing tests? A typ­i­cal race ‘week­end’ for Hol­combe starts on a Wednes­day walk­ing the course: ‘We get on the tests from 9am on the Wednes­day of a race week and I can usu­ally do seven hours walk­ing that day.’ Com­par­isons be­tween Hol­combe and the equally tal­ented fel­low 2018 mo­tor­cy­cle world cham­pi­ons are easy to make in terms of tal­ent. Like Marc Mar­quez, Tai Woffinden, Toni Bou or Jonathan Rea, Hol­combe is supremely tal­ented on a mo­tor­cy­cle. Like the rest of them he too has the abil­ity to be dev­as­tat­ingly fast and then find an­other cru­cial gear when needed to ut­terly dom­i­nate. To put Hol­combe along­side those names is com­pletely rea­son­able.

Not one world cham­pi­onship, but four

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