After racing motocross for 25 years, and pedalling to multiple Scottish masters champion wins, mountain bike racer Darren Scott decided he fancied a change.
The outcome of this desire for a new challenge was a superb seventh-place finish in this year’s World Enduro Masters Mountain Bike Championship.
The Galashiels bike ace was delighted with the success, reckoning his consistency had shown through amid fluctuating fortunes.
“I’ve always used a mountain bike to keep myself fit for motocross, so it wasn’t all new to me,” he explained.
“In my first year racing mountain bikes, I won the Scottish Open at Innerleithen and, at the end of last year, I entered and finished second in the British Enduro World Series qualifier, which allowed me to race in the 2017 World Masters Series.”
With a winter of training behind him – with running group Galavanters and bike support from Hardies Bikes of Melrose – Darren lined up his machine in May in Madeira for the first of five rounds, which would then take him to southern Ireland, France, Canada and Italy for the finish.
“My results were 15th in Madeira, with bad luck with front punctures on stages eight and nine, and, on stage seven, I lost my shoe,” he recalled.
Darren, who finished eighth in both Ireland and France, added: “On the second day (in France), when the stages were more downhill, which I prefer, I finished fifth in a couple, which gave me a lot of confidence heading into Canada that I was up there with the best in the world.”
Darren reckoned a ninth-place finish in Canada was probably his best result, as the race was stacked with many local riders.
Heading into the last round in Italy, Darren found himself in a three-way battle for fifth in the Championship, with John Jacob from New Zealand and Shane Kroegor of Canada.
Unfortunately, he suffered more bad luck, losing his bike chain during the fourth stage on day two, which cost him a lot of time and eventually pushed him down to 20th.
“But, overall, my consistency was enough to finish seventh in the World Championship,” he said.