BIKE enthusiast Mark Scott has inherited aspirations of a true sportsman. Already a formidable figure on the downhill circuit, the Edinburgh rider is gearing up for a season in the saddle as he prepares for the Enduro World Series which begins in Italy next month.
This year’s competition will pitch the former Portobello High pupil against some of biking’s most challenging terrains and opposition from across the globe. Frenchman, Jerome Clementz, is currently ranked as the sport’s world No. 1, but mixing it with the best holds little fear for Scott who intends on making his own impression in this year’s series.
As the teenager looks to seize his opportunity in an event that will take him further afield to North America for the fourth and fifth stages later this year, he today explained the reasons behind his decision for a shift in pattern.
“My main focus at the moment is the enduro series. It is pretty similar to downhill but is more towards the fitness side of things.
“I am going to do a few downhills but it all depends on when and where I am. The thing with downhill is you need to have the support of teams as opposed to enduro where you can ride individually. You’ve got to fix your own bike and do everything, but I’ve got a few sponsors which help me out with parts and things like that. A lot of teams and sponsors had to cutback in the downhill and this is why the enduro has really taken off.”
The 19-year-old has just returned home after two warm-up events in Ojen, southern Spain, and Sestri Levante, a small town on the north Italian coastline. Scott’s results attained on the continent have now fuelled his desire of achieving a top-ten finish at the end of this year’s series after placing second on the podium in Spain from 250 competitors, which was followed up by finishing 11th from an impressive tally of 500.
Despite his relative naivety on the enduro circuit, Scott only missed out on gold in Spain by eight seconds, but admitted recent performances behind the handlebars had instilled a lot of optimism within the gritty rider.
“The winner was from that area so he may have had a slight advantage over me on that front, but there were a few riders in the top ten in the world there as well – so it was a good result.
“At this point in the season, both competitions in Spain and Italy were pretty good tests for me as it was good to gauge my fitness. I’m confident going into this year’s competitions so I’ve just got to work on a few little things and then put it all together.
“It’s still quite a new format for me but I’m aiming for a position in the top ten in the world this year – that would be a great personal achievement in my first full year.”
An intense three-month training regime just outside Malaga over the winter has prepared the youngster both physically and mentally for the demands that lie ahead.
Scott added: “I’m looking to deliver the results now and prove I can make a living from it.
“If I can do that then the bigger companies and sponsorship deals will become involved, but I need to be in the top ten and that is what I am aiming for by the end of this year.”