This weekend there was a rumble in the Jungle, or at least under the dense Scots Pines. In a tense final round of the POC Scottish Enduro Series a fierce battle was fought for the honour of being the new Scottish Enduro Series Champion. Going into the round the series points were so tight that the previous five rounds may well have not been raced, there was nothing in it and everything to play for!

The POC Scottish Enduro Series has gone from strength to strength since its birth two years ago, providing Scotland with an elite level series that caters for both the keen and amateur racer alike. Taking in venues all over Scotland, each round has improved on the last and the team has found the perfect balance between technicality and fun! ENDURO has enjoyed each and every one and you can find the reports here.

Liam charging through Stage One
Liam charging through Stage One

The six round series has now run to it’s end for the year and has crowned two very deserving National Champions, Katy Winton and Liam Moynihan. Katy has been an inspirational racer for many years and despite her young age has inspired many new Tweed Valley shredders to get out there and try and follow in her foot steps, humble and dedicated, everyone was stoked to see her take the top spot. Another crowd favourite was Liam Moynihan, one of the rapscallions that make up the hilarious Dudes Of Hazzard! Better known for exploits in the popular Dudeumentary series, Liam has shown that you can study full time at University and still be pretty good on the bikes. We caught up with the two to find out more about the Scottish Champs.

Katy has shown she is force to be reckoned with both nationally and internationally
Katy has shown she is force to be reckoned with both nationally and internationally

So the racing is over, congratulations! How does it feel to be the new Scottish Enduro Champion?

Katy: So good, especially when it means you have an antler trophy to show for it! It’s been so much fun racing all these rounds and it’s been great battling it out with Roz all year down to the very last race!
Liam: Yeah it’s fantastic! It was a close battle with Cathro (Ben Cathro) and Hutch (Chris Hutchens) at right down to the end we weren’t 100% sure what the final overall was with me and Ben equal on points; it was really good to get the sweet trophy!

Katy Winton is a great ambassador for Scottish Enduro
Katy Winton is a great ambassador for Scottish Enduro

It came down to mere seconds at the end when did you know you had done enough?

Katy: I didn’t really feel I had done enough all weekend, after silly mistakes in stages and poor preparation I knew I was going to have to work really hard on the day to take the win. Stage Four was my favourite stage, not in practice but after I’d raced it because I knew I had gotten the best out of myself and that was where I won the race in the end. Winning here secured 4/4 wins to take the series. But phew it was really close!
Liam: It was the same for me, after the Fort William round I had done three rounds and realised it could pan out nicely with one to go. I did a quick calculation before the race and knew I needed to place fifth or better and ahead of Ben for the series overall so when I heard he punctured on the final stage at the weekend I suspected I’d be in luck for the overall.

The overall series champions celebrate with a selfie.
The overall series champions celebrate with a selfie.

What did you think about the series overall?

Katy: It’s a brilliant series, great trails, such a nice relaxed atmosphere and good people. I’ve had a lot of fun racing these rounds this year, with no time limits you can go at your own pace and enjoy the day with no stress. It’s just good times!
Liam: I think the series is fantastic. It covers a good diverse selection of terrain types and has a bit of everything. I know every time I turn up that it will be high spirits all round and that there will without question be some real fast boys there.

If you had to choose one highlight what would it be?
Katy: That’s a hard one, probably this last round practising and racing with a lovely bunch of girls and just having a laugh!
Liam: The Fort William round was hard to beat for me. Loads of friends were out racing, the stages were good and had a mix of everything, the weather was prime and I was enjoying being in the promised land! haha!

The women’s field seems to be getting stronger and stronger, you had a fight on your hands this year?

Katy: Yeah it’s been brilliant to see more and more women racing and even trying it out for the first time. There has been a good show in the lite categories and I hope that’s helped those women to feel a bit closer to building up to doing the full race. It’s been brilliant racing Roz all year too, she is super fast and a great rider. She is a total legend balancing being a mum, working, commuting to work and still smashing it up on the trails! So cool!

Roz Newman, Janey Kennedy and Katy Winton, fast ladies indeed
Roz Newman, Janey Kennedy and Katy Winton, fast ladies indeed

What are your goals for next season?

Katy: Next year I am going to take another step forward towards the top, making it into the single digits consistently in the EWS and not crashing onto my head anymore! The big goal for the moment though is getting in a solid winter of training in the bag and I’m really looking forward to it. Gain train here we come!

Liam I hear that you are balancing racing with something much more mentally challenging?

Liam: Yep, I’ve got a PhD on my hands these days. I’m researching the effects of elastic turbulence in complex fluids at the micro-scale. At the moment it’s a fairly wide topic with applications ranging from improved oil recovery in porous rock networks to medical device applications. Things will become a bit more refined and the topic should narrow into something a bit more specific with time!

Katie finds out she has just done enough
Katie finds out she has just done enough

Fair play, you don’t see many Fluid Dynamasists belly flopping off high bridges, what about the Dudes Of Hazzard, have you got something amazing coming?

Liam: Yeah, we always have something up our sleeves! haha! Making good films is definitely high on the priority list in life for the three of us! It’s good fun to do and it feels like a tangible achievement at the end and it cracks me up when people get excited and tell me how much they laughed when Ferg did X or Joe did Y! The big intro to this year’s video came out recently and the main event is following soon so keep your eyes peeled for that!

When you were growing up, who was your inspiration?

Katy: Seeing as I am still growing up, Tracy Moseley is such an inspiration, she is a dominant force with so many achievements but with all the time in the world for helping people start riding bikes and develop the next generation. That inspires me big time to work hard to get to that level because she has shown us all how fast you can really go while just being lovely at the same time.

Liam: I obviously inspired by the usual likes of Sam Hill and Peaty. But was generally pretty inspired by the Scottish boys who were a few years older than me, real fast on a bike and switched on with life. I’ve always looked up to Joe, Ferg, Cathro and Gary Forrest. I guess they are the four guys who are a bit older than me, have always been some of the top riders in Scotland and I’ve spent a decent bit of time riding bikes with them all over time. They were also all really sound to me when I was 15 and very limited bike skills! haha

Liam is better known for his Dudes exploits, but is ne'bad at the bikes
Liam is better known for his Dudes exploits, but is ne’bad at the bikes

There seems to be a lot of fast racers coming from Scotland at the moment, is it something you are putting in the porridge?

Katy: Yup it’s the salt and water in that porridge ;) haha! I think that is actually a credit to the series, having good races that attract a strong field of riders brings everyone on because it pushes everyone to race on their limit. More race experience against tough competition and training through a race weekend on a good mix of stages is only going to create fast riders!

Liam: Milk only for my porridge! The classic way… There are a pretty wild number of boys in Scotland with incredible speed across every mountain bike discipline. Joe (Barnes) and Mark (Scott) doing EWS top tens or the likes of Ruaridh (Cunningham) and Greg (Williamson) racing downhill or Grant Ferguson racing XC. That’s without even mentioning a whole host of others like Kenta, Cathro and the massive group of people I’ve missed who are outrageously good on a bike across the board!

Will you be racing to defend your title next year?

Katy: I would like to but I need to sit down with the calendar and see where I am at, I will definitely be racing some rounds because they are fun and it’s great to see everyone.

Liam: Yeah, it’s definitely nice that the series is ‘4 rounds out of 6’ to count. I knew some would clash with other things at the start of the year, but knowing that I could do four for a series result made me put the effort in to definitely do them and I’ve loved every one I’ve done. So I’ll definitely be back at them again next year!

Lets not forget the rest of the competition,  Chris Hutchens, Ben Cathro and Thomas Mitchell were all in the running
Let’s not forget the rest of the competition, Chris Hutchens, Ben Cathro and Thomas Mitchell were all in the running

Is there anyone you need to thank?

Katy: Everyone!!!! Thanks to Endura and Bergamont for great support along with the other team sponsors, Maxxis tyres, SRAM, 7IDP and Hayes Components. Ride 100% for protecting my vision, Scottoiler for keeping my bike tip top and looking class. My coach G for getting me to this level, family and friends for being legends and to everyone who has helped me big or small this year it all adds up and I really appreciate it. Thank you lovely people!

Liam: Yep some of the most delightful folk around! Parents, Sisters & Edrid plus all the boys(especially Joe Barnes for always being a top chief)! Everyone at Canyon Bikes! MET + Bluegrass! Adidas Eyewear! Nick Bayliss/Royal Racing!
‘Unbelievable scenes’ for helping keep the laughter maxed out!

Great stuff guys, we look forward to seeing you race again next year!

ENDURO will be working with the Scottish Enduro Series again next year to bring you all the news from the fantastic rounds. The 2016 dates have been announced and tickets are on sale now so what are you waiting for, check out their website for more information.

Words and photos: Trev Worsey

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