Yep, Brad Freeman has gone and won the European championship on his Colwyn Bay KTM. It's been another good year for Brad, as he explains here...
"WE DID IT!" 2016 Overall European Champion!
That was the big goal at the start of the year. Initially seen as a long shot, but through hard work, luck or persistence we achieved it. Yes we, together!
Going in to the final round in Holland unbelievably I was still leading the championship by 5 points...after missing round 3 in Latvia through injury. Following surgery on my shoulder in June, I worked very hard with the physio to get back to 100% as soon as possible. I put in the hours in training and got back to the level I felt I should be.
The event in Holland was awesome. Four sandy tests per lap made for 1 hour and a half worth of tests per day. I endured maybe my best ride ever at an enduro as a whole under the most pressure. I won all 24 test outright over both days of racing and claimed both overall day wins, by 2 minutes 26 seconds Friday and 3 minutes 34 seconds Saturday. The biggest winning margin ever at the European Championship!
To be crowned champion feels amazing, a real dream come true...and the youngest champion ever in the series history. After only racing 6 out of 8 days, I scored 4 overall day wins and two 2nd places, missing out on just 6 points. A near perfect year for myself on paper, but in reality a very different story! I put in a lot of graft to do well in this championship so to succeed is extremely satisfying.
Through an up and down year the British Enduro Championship also turned out to be nothing but eventful! After missing round 2 in the Isle of Man through injury the championship was kind of out of question. I went to round 3 in Rhayader with very little preparation after a period of rehad. Surprisingly I was very close to the pace, and placed 2nd in the prologue and 2nd overall for both days. In what turned out to be a very wet race, I was really happy with my speed and performance. If it weren’t for some issues of the final test of day 1 I could possibly have had a day win overall which was very positive.
Round 4 was the Natterjack. An event I was very much looking forward to after previous years. Again 2nd overall for both days. Happy with my performance but getting a little tired of that second step now! I missed the day 2 win by just under 3 seconds, a positive result but seriously frustrating! Now we just wait for the final round on November 20th at the Muntjac, to try and get that elusive first win! I also have the possibility of finishing 2nd overall for the British Championship, and 1st E2 if all goes to plan.
The British Sprint Enduro Championship closed out on September 4th in Sheffield. Again, after missing rounds two and three, I was out of contention for the title. However, after a win and a 2nd place overall finish at round one it was a shame to miss the rest of the championship, so to close it out strong was very important to me. I finished out the weekend with 2 convincing overall wins making three wins and a 2nd place overall out of four starts this year. Although a turbulent series for myself I am very happy with my performance.
So that’s 2016 pretty much over. Again, I want to thank everyone involved so much for all their help and support this year. I can’t stress enough how important a piece it is to my programme. It’s been an unbelievable year, nothing but eventful but very fun and rewarding!