Edinburgh teenager scoops UK extreme biking prize

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A TEENAGER defied doctors’ orders and went on to scoop the top prize in one of Britain’s most prestigious extreme sport competitions.

Danny Stewart had been ordered to stay off his bike for eight weeks after fracturing his shoulder and a bone in his hand while practising for the Spank Industries Dirt Wars 2013 competition – the UK’s flagship event for mountain bike dirt jumping.

Danny Stewart. Picture: Comp

Danny Stewart. Picture: Comp

The lay-off would have put the Corstorphine 19-year-old out of the final two events of the five-date series, which see competitors negotiate custom-built ramps, jumps and run-ins while performing spectacular tricks including 360-degree turns and backflips.

But just a week-and-a-half later, in mid-August, he rode through the pain to put in a strong performance, before going into the final event last weekend, near Bristol, as the overall leader.

He finished second in that event, while still not fully recovered from his injuries, which was enough to take first place overall in the series. It meant Danny, who is 
sponsored by Transgression Park indoor skate park in Peffermill Industrial Estate and Swellbow clothing, will now qualify for the professional stage of the competition next year. He said: “I’d just come off my bike and landed on my shoulder and my hand. I went to the hospital and they told me to stay off my bike for eight weeks.

“I couldn’t do all of the events last year because of injury and I knew that I could ride, it was just painful. I just had to get through it. I’ve been into the sport for seven years and I was really happy to have won, I didn’t think I would. It was a great feeling.”

Danny performs a stunt. Picture: contributed

Danny performs a stunt. Picture: contributed

Danny, who practises five days a week and has a job cycling rickshaws on Fridays and Saturdays, has now set his sights on entering European competitions following his ­latest success. He is also keen to see his stunts performed on film, with a huge worldwide market for dirt jumping.

And the prospect of further injuries – he has also broken his collarbone twice – will not put him off going as far as he can in extreme sport.

“When I broke my collarbone I was off my bike for three months, and it was really hard to stay away from it for that long,” he added.

“People say we’re adrenaline junkies and you do get a rush, but it’s not so much about that – it’s just having fun.

“It’s just a really good feeling and there are a lot of good guys that do it. It’s something you can push yourself in and I want to get better and better.”