Hitting the ground running, Colin Ross raced his way to a dominant win at the 2018 Vitus First Tracks Enduro Cup opener at Castlewellan.
With the muddy, wet and technical conditions suiting him to a tee, ‘Rosco’ got the power down to set the fastest time in all five stages on his way to a 11-second margin of victory over defending champion Nathan McComb in second, with Glyn O’Brien third.
Catching up with Colin after the podium celebrations, we chat about winning, mud angels and how XC training has made him faster…
Freewheelin’: Congratulations Colin, round one winner — you can’t really ask for better than that!
Colin Ross: “Thanks, I know it’s awesome to win, it’s absolutely brilliant. I wasn’t expecting that result because I hadn’t been fully focused on enduro prior to this race. I did one or two rounds last year for fun because I wanted to focus on the downhill series, but this year I want to give the full championship a go.”
Ending up with an 11-second victory over defending champion Nathan McComb must give you a lot of confidence for the year ahead?
“Definitely. You know, to beat Nathan, and Glyn, around here is a big win for me. I turn 35 next month — technically, I should be in Masters B — so it’s nice to be able to come here and still pull a result like this out of the bag.”
You grew stronger and stronger as the day progressed, what level of training have you been putting in prior to Castlewellan?
“When you do a tough race like this it shows what sort of training you’ve done during the last couple of months. You really had to rely on momentum and fitness to carry you through some of the stages. I’ve been doing a lot of XC work this winter too and I think that made the difference. I rode a couple of XC rounds last year for fun, but my intention this year is to also focus on the Ulster series, which starts next weekend. With the enduro and XC training crossing over each other that’s helped me get the power down when I needed it.”
Some practice on stage 3 at the weekend!
Posted by Rosco Lines on Monday, 9 April 2018
Watch Rosco charging through Castlewellan
Rumour has it you were carrying a spare pair of gloves for stage one, were you afraid you’d start the day making mud angels?
“The first 10 seconds of stage one were easily the most messiest and scariest part of the whole day. I knew if I crashed there I’d need new gloves. It was a tough way to start to the day. Between not being fully warmed up and it being the first stage of the year, my nerves were definitely playing up on me a little bit too. I really messed up my line on the second corner and ended up doggy-paddling my way out of it. It wasn’t pretty, luckily there was a long day ahead to recover.”
What stage stood out the most for you today?
“I loved stage three, it had the best bits of the trail centre and a right good mix of natural bits at the bottom. But I liked it because it was also really physical too. I love it when a track has all those elements come together like that. But to be honest, if the top of stage one wasn’t so tough, then all the stages were really brilliant today — I enjoyed them all.”
Finally, as the early championship leader are you looking forward to round two at Bigwood next month?
“The plan is to do all the rounds of the Vitus First Tracks Enduro Cup this year and give the championship my best shot. Bigwood is my local ground for my coaching schools, so I know it well. However, that doesn’t mean I’ll be the fastest because there’s definitely a big difference between racing and coaching. But it’s like a second home for me and I enjoy it simply because the trails are all natural and with some pedal-power bits. With stages of a really good length too you can get properly stuck in.”
The Vitus First Tracks Enduro Cup continues at Bigwood, Newry on May 12/13.
- Colin Ross charges to victory at First Tracks Enduro Cup Castlewellan opener
- Results: Polygon Grassroots Enduro Series, Round 1
- Rosco’s Riding Clinic – Railin’ Berms