TOM SAGAR – “I KNEW IT WAS POSSIBLE TO WIN”
At the penultimate round of the 2014 British Enduro Championship in Wales, KTM’s Tom Sagar successfully defended his overall title. With the series making a return to the Rhayader event for the first time in eight years, Sagar delivered a riding master class to claim the overall victory on both days. In doing so recorded his fourth outright BEC title…
Congratulations Tom, it must feel great to be the 2014 ACU British Enduro champion!
“Thanks – it feels awesome to have won the title. With the competition so fierce I knew I faced a tough defence of my title this year. To wrap it up with one round to spare is fantastic.”
Did knowing that it was possible to win the championship this weekend add any extra pressure?
“Leading into the weekend I felt that I was riding really well. I knew that it was possible to win but didn’t want to let it overcome me. If it happened, it happened. I just wanted to give it my best shot and race for the win.”
Winning both days was the perfect result but how did your weekend go?
“On paper it seemed perfect but I had a few problems – mostly my fault! Day one was wet and greasy. It was tough riding and a physical day. I made a few mistakes but still managed to win. On day two my first enduro test was fantastic. I came out of it with about a 20 second lead and rode well all day to maintain that advantage. A steady ride in the final cross test would have easily wrapped things up but I had a massive crash and thought I had thrown it all away. Luckily I just had enough in hand and hung on to win.”
Taking four out of four wins marked an incredibly strong second half of the season for you. Is there any reason for that?
“With the level of competition so high I honestly felt that finishing second in the championship was a realistic goal for me. But during the second half of the series something clicked and I found my speed. The Knighton round was good to me. Normally I struggle there but this time I won both days. It was the same this weekend. I thought I would struggle but maybe the added pressure of the title kept me on my game. I think that was the best I’ve ridden for quite a while.”
It’s been eight years since the Rhayader club last hosted a round of the BEC. You won both days then and have done it again this year. It must be a great feeling to remain so strong during all that time?
“In 2007 I went on to win my first BEC title and now, by winning again, I’ve taken my fourth. There’s been a lot of ups and downs over the years so to be able to keep winning means a massive amount to me. With Danny McCanney and Jamie McCanney on top of their game in the world championships it’s great to show that I can still run with and beat those guys on home turf.”
From a team’s perspective Colwyn Bay Motorcycles have been incredibly strong too?
“Overall it’s been a brilliant year for both the team and myself. I think we’ve proved a lot this year. Obviously I was expected to try and fight for the BEC title but Brad Freeman has adapted well to the Championship class as well, so we’ve had a very strong team. As a rookie he’s turned a few heads this season. It would be nice to finish the championship 1-3. There’s still one round left so anything can happen.”
Do you think you can add the outright European Enduro Championship to your BEC title?
“I definitely have a fighting chance to take the outright title. Due to my non-score at round one it’s made things a lot harder than I want it but if I can win both days in the Czech Republic it’s possible. The Enduro 2 class is also there for the taking. Hopefully I can add at least one European title to my BEC championship.”
Along with the BEC and the EEC you’re also contesting the final round of the Enduro World Championship in France. Any expectations there?
“It’s going to be a very busy few weeks. Next weekend is the European Enduro Championship in the Czech Republic and then I take in the final round of the Enduro World Championship in France, on the way home. I’m looking forward to dipping a toe back into the EWC waters. It’s been a while since I raced a world round. I’m going there to treat it as a bit of fun. There’s no pressure to perform but bagging a good result would be a great way to cap off the year.”
Finally, who would you like to offer up thanks to?
“The whole team has been incredible. Without all our sponsors, family and friends this result wouldn’t haven been possible. KTM UK, Colwyn Bay Motorcycles, Dr Shox, CI Sport, Michelin and Rock Oil among many others have been fantastic but it’s the support from family and friends that make the team what it is.”