Day-one of the International Six Days Enduro took its toll on the US National ISDE team as the 31-rider squad finished no higher than fifth place for the day at the German ISDE. The US World Trophy Team finished sixth while both the US Women’s World Trophy and Junior Trophy Team finished in fifth. The best finish for any US club team was 16th.
“I think everybody tried a little too hard today,” US Team manager Antti Kallonen said. “We just made too many mistakes. Some of the teams here, especially the European ones that compete in this type of format all year, are very good at this type of racing where everybody knows you have to be nearly perfect all of the time. Each of our riders had some very good tests, but they each had some bad ones too.
“One of our goals here for the Trophy Team is to have each of our riders finish top 15 (in each of the three classes.) We accomplished that, but just barely.”
Officially for the day the top finishing US Trophy Team rider was Charlie Mullins who finished 6th in the E2 class, followed by Robert Taylor, Kurt Caselli and Destry Abbott who finished 10th, 13th and 24th respectively in that class. Mike Brown, who is competing in the E1 class, and Russell Bobbitt, who is competing in the E3 class, each finished 13th. In each of the ISDE trophy team divisions, World Trophy, Women’s Trophy and Junior Trophy, one team rider’s score is “thrown out each day.
US Trophy rider Kurt Caselli, who finished third overall in last year’s Finnish Six Days and first in the E3 class there helping the US team finish third overall said, “We always start slow. The whole Six Days format, the scoring, the test layout, the transfer sections, the back to back days of racing, it’s just different enough to what we do back home. It seems we always need a day to figure it out.”
“I myself made too many mistakes starting with a bad crash in one of the early tests. I got out of shape a little and hit a stump and hurt my shoulder. You have to ride just hard enough to have a good score but not hard enough where you crash. We’ll start to turn things around tomorrow.”
Kallonen said, “Things aren’t over for the team, we just need to slow down a little and ride a little smoother. Maybe we give up a few seconds here and there, we just don’t give up a lot of time by making big mistakes.”
The top three finishing teams in the Trophy Team division was France, Australia and Finland.
The US Women’s Trophy Team of Mandi Mastin, Rachel Gutish and Sarah Whitmore also had their share of problems. Mastin said, “It’s just hard to hit the ground running where your little mistakes just add up.
“Rachel and I rode together most of the day but both managed to miss a check by one minute when we weren’t paying close enough attention and just ran out of time. Sarah had her own problems on the trail and dropped some route points as well.”
The women’s team division is lead by France followed by Australia and Germany.
The US Junior Team’s efforts for the day where lead by Thad Duvall, who finished 20th in the E2 class. Duvall said, “I guess I’m happy for my first day ever of riding a Six Days. Everything is a little different. By the second lap I started to figure it out. Tomorrow we ride the same course and I’m looking forward to improving my times.”
After Day-one the top three Junior teams are Italy, Great Britain and Australia.
The best US club team finish for Day-one was the Boise Ridge rider’s three-rider team of Devon Bolin, Reid Brown and Derek Steahly who finished 16th.
All 31 US riders made it into impound at the end of the day.