Rotorua's Sam Shaw is one of the more laid-back mountain bikers around. Rocking shorts and a T-shirt along with a pair of novelty socks, it often looks as if he was taking a ride through the forest when a race broke out around him so he joined in.

But do not let the carefree attitude deceive you. Shaw has a burning desire to win. A desire to go as fast as possible against the best riders in the world and he has the talent to do it.

At the weekend he did just that at the three-day, multi-stage 2018 New Zealand Enduro in Marlborough, balancing speed with consistency to finish second overall. The man who beat him, by almost two minutes, was former Enduro World Series champion Jerome Clementz, of France.

"The racing was good, it was good weather this time. The trails were slightly slick on the surface and dry in places, so super slippery. The first day you just had to lay off the brakes and try to hold your line and you'd pretty much slide off the track.


"I'm really happy with how it went, I played the consistent game and it worked out. I kind of went into the weekend expecting to be a top-five placer. When I found out I was in third after day two I thought I might as well push for second," Shaw said.

The top three men at the 2018 New Zealand Enduro Sam Shaw (left), Jerome Clementz and Joe Nation. Photo / Richard Goldsbury
The top three men at the 2018 New Zealand Enduro Sam Shaw (left), Jerome Clementz and Joe Nation. Photo / Richard Goldsbury

He ended up chasing down Joe Nation, of Canterbury, beating him by just one second overall.

"I think he made a couple of mistakes and I made less mistakes and got away with it."

Shaw is preparing for this year's Enduro World Series, which kicks off in Chile at the end of this month, and said going up against riders like Clementz was good preparation.

"On day one and day three I had times that were quite close to him, on day two he smashed all of us. I always learn from these races, especially from someone like him. He just rode really consistently.

"I'm feeling really good [ahead of the world series], preparation has gone well and things are coming together right when they need to. Chile and Columbia are going to be mean, I'm going to cram a whole lot of fun into 12 days then come back and chill out.

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"I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing, having fun and enjoying the ride. There's no point in riding bikes if it's not fun," he said.

2018 New Zealand Enduro results
Men's Overall:
1st - Jerome Clementz (1h 11m 33s)
2nd - Samuel Shaw (1h 13m 24s)
3rd - Joe Nation (1h 13m 25s)
4th - Charlie Murray (1h 14m 07s)
5th - Conor Macfarlane (1h 15m 28s)

Women's Overall :
1st - Emily Slaco (1h 30m 04s)
2nd - Harriet Harper (1h 30m 47s)
3rd - Uriell Carlson (1h 36m 44s)
4th - Cati Pearson (1h 39m 33s)
5th - Ronja Hill-Wright (1h 40m 08s)