A Quarter of a Century of Trying Hard | Part 3 | Tasmanian Devil.

Scottish enduro pinner Michael Clyne is aiming to take the 2019 Enduro World Series Masters championship off his own back.

Racing a full Enduro World Series as a privateer is mostly unheard of, let alone going for the biggest scalp of them all, the championship overall.

That is exactly what Michael Clyne aims to do, and he’s going to be checking in to let us know how he’s getting on throughout the year.

With Rotorua under his belt, Mike heads to Derby, Tasmania for the second round of the Enduro World Series.

At around the 7-8 min mark and every trail type in it, stage 1 was Tasmania’s Queen stage. The winner of this stage in each category getting extra series points.

I’ll also lay down my money that this trail gets voted best trail of the year. It was incredible. 50mph sections – check, 35ft gap jumps – check, gnarly rock slabs, check, tight berms – check, steeps – check. Literally every feature and natural trail surface, bar sloppy mud, was experienced in this masterpiece.

I count my self extraordinarily lucky to have ridden it at all, never mind under perfect race conditions.

My race run went superb on it. I was pretty relaxed, even into the 35ft gap jump. I felt like superman when I finished 7 and half minutes later. I doubted anybody could have beaten me… Oh how wrong could a big fish from a small pond be… I came 4th last on it. 40 seconds behind series leader Karim Amour.

This set the scene for Sunday’s race day. Every stage I rode, what felt like, the best I’d ever ridden, took all the big boy lines and every stage I came 5th or 4th last. With only one exception. Stage 5.

Stage 5 had a kilometre long intense rock and boulder garden in it. I clipped my pedals twice up top on the pedaly traverse almost coming to a standstill then royally screwed up the end of the rock garden with an almighty over the bars crash, ruining my shoulder, knee and new carbon bars. Getting back on the bike, my bars were twisted and my right hand was throbbing. I carried on, missing out every hard line and jump yet ended up 11th on it. My best result of the weekend. Go figure?

That run, crashes and all propelled me from 16th on the prologue to 11th overall.

I’m now very comfortable with the dawning fact that I will not be challenging anyone for the podium. The remainder of the series will be about having fun, riding the best trails in the world and meeting new people. Where I’ll end up in the rankings is anyone’s guess. But if I have as much fun as I did in Derby, Tasmania. I really couldn’t care less. This place is absolutely stellar mate.

Keep an eye out for Part 4 of A Quarter Century of Trying Hard coming after the Madeira round of the Enduro World Series.

Missed Part One? Read it here.

Follow Mike’s Enduro World Series antics on his Instagram page here.