Downhill mountain biker Mark Scott is already a plotting a top-ten finish in the Enduro World Series next year after narrowly missing out in Italy last weekend.
The former Portobello High pupil, 22, finished 14th overall after the eighth and final stage in the coastal region of Liguria in the north west of the country.
The series, which began in New Zealand in March, was won by American Richie Rude, who was victorious in three of the eight stages en route to the title.
But Scott, who was competing in his third series of an event which sees riders race down some of the world’s most challenging terrains, believes the opportunity to mix it with the best has allowed him to up his game.
“I managed to get a single top-ten at a race this year and I’ve also been top twenty almost all year so I’ve been really happy with how it’s gone,” said Scott, who was up against over 300 riders. I’ve been struggling with a knee injury since the end of August so I haven’t been 100 per cent. But everyone has said to me I’ve done a great job and there is already a lot of interest for next year from a lot of teams. I finished 28th two years ago and 32nd last year so this has been my strongest.
“I know I’ve got the speed to compete with the top guys so it’s just about keeping that fitness and consistency. I definitely want to make the top ten next year and push for podium results.”
Tragedy struck the circuit at the beginning of August when American rider Will Olson died following a crash in Colorado, Scott himself having completed his first day of racing before the incident. This leg of the series was subsequently cancelled with riders, understandably, in no fit state to continue.
“It was a really bad accident,” Scott recalls. “Guys were performing CPR within 30 seconds of him crashing. He had really bad chest injuries.
“You know it could happen, in any sport, but it’s just something you try not to think about.”