Team USA readies for ISDE start

After impounding all of their 31 bikes late Friday afternoon, the U.S. International Six Days Enduro team members spent the weekend preparing themselves for this year’s German Six Days, which starts Monday morning at 7:45 a.m.

“Last week was a long week, getting everything unpacked and set up and then getting the bikes into impound, but now that’s done and things are starting to come together,” said U.S. Team Manager Antti Kallonen.

“Over the weekend our strategy has changed a little. Due to the smaller, narrower roads and lots of traffic, we are not going to have mechanics chasing our riders around. It was just impossible to safely use that strategy here.

“So we’ve changed our plans where now the mechanics will stay at a check with all the tools and parts that might be needed if somebody has problems. It took a little time to organize, but we have it all worked out.”

Kallonen added that the racers on the Trophy and Junior Trophy teams have been walking tests.

“It’s not easy being competitors one week and the next you’re working together as a team,” he said. “It’s good to see them spending a lot of time together and sharing information. I have a lot of respect for them and I equally expect them to do well.”

Seven-time ISDE veteran and US Trophy Team rider Russell Bobbitt said that he enjoys hanging out with his ISDE teammates for this event.

“It’s a lot of fun getting to hang out with these guys as a team,” Bobbitt said. “Back home we get along but we just don’t spend that much time together, other than on race day.

“Mike (Brown), Destry (Abbott), Kurt (Caselli) and Taylor (Robert) are really good at it,” he added. “At home, they compete against each other almost every weekend and here they’re all about working together. Charlie (Mullins) and I are the same way. Here, we’re all about helping each other.”

The weekend was also used to organize support checks where supplies and check workers where brought together, said Jay Hall, the U.S. team’s Parc Ferme check captain.

“It’s a lot of work but everybody always comes together,” Hall said. “This year it’s been nice as there have been no surprises. Everything has gone according to schedule. Even during impound we only had a couple riders turned back because of sound, and all but one made it in on the next try, and he made it in on the third try. The important thing is they all made it in. Some years that in itself can be a challenge.

“We’re looking forward to a good Six Days,” Hall said.

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