Recent years have seen ACU riders dominate much of the World Series however the withdrawal of KTM; Husqvarna, Yamaha and Honda from the official FIM series left many riders without a sponsored seat for the 2019 season. Some changed horses others moved to different disciplines more having to bite the bullet and dig into their own pockets. It’s a European wide change with Yamaha announcing the end of the WR production from 2020. Strange times.
Closed season at the BEC saw Alex Snow ( ex GP motocrosser) in a late move from Honda to Gas Gas, Jamie MC Canney gone to the Yamaha Rallye team, brother Danny from Gas Gas to TM, Mundell to Sherco amongst the top ACU riders. For the record it was those same 3 riders filling the podium on round 1 of the 19 BEC. Young Mundell ( 300 Sherco) slotted in 3 rd after a slow start, some crashes eventually calming down to move up the ranking, Snow ( 300 G G) was steady and fast to 2nd but none were close to Danny MCanney (300Ti TM ) on the enduro test where he simply pulled clear ahead by some 20 seconds a test. At that level that is a lot of time. Snow was close as expected on the MX test but MC Canney took every test on the day.
Seven and a half hours for the top class, six for the Experts and 5, 5 for the clubmen …. 6 x MX test, 5 x Enduro test made for a challenging day and a job well done by a new organising club.
There was a time when MCUI riders would have attended in up to 12 riders per BEC event … great riders from that past ere and classes …. Adrian Lappin , Stan Callaghan , Ian Dunne , Conrad Wynne , Paul Maguire , Robert Davidson , Gordon Clarke to name but a few . No doubt it was part adventure part learning in the Hotbed of BEC enduro.
Now such riders travelling are far less (partly because Irish events are good) and the sole representative from these shores at Dorset was young Corkman Luke Murphy making his first visit to the BEC. Luke acquitted himself well, forth in E1 Clubman never looking out of shape or puff. Such efforts will be rewarded gaining experience and speed on different types of terrain particularly on tests which following FIM guidelines are more open and faster than exist here. Different, not better or worse.
The enduro world is coming to life again, the BEC has started. Next week the Italian championships start, then the French. In the middle the Swedes and Finns are riding in the snow. The EWC has at long last added new classes for the “normal” rider … two open classes and Vets (O’ 35). Not before time before the lights went out completely.
Thanks to Robbie and Paul for the pictures and comment at Dorset.