More Day-one US ISDE Team photos here: http://berkyboy.smugmug.com/Other/ITALY-ISDE-2013-Day-1/32164124_2PB7Kr
by Steve Berkner
The 31-rider US ISDE team got off to a good start on the first day of the 88th International Six Days Enduro being held in Olbia, Italy, where the US Trophy Team sit in second place. The US Junior Trophy Team (for riders 23 and under) and the Wellard three-rider club team sat in 3rd place each in their own respective team classes at the end of Day-one.
The premier US World Trophy Team was lead by “Top American” Taylor Robert, who rode to a fifth place finish for the day in the E2 class and sixth overall in the “scratch” competition which combines all riders test scores for the day. The US team trailed France by 1 minute 15 seconds and held an 11 second lead over Australia and a 13 second lead of fourth place finishing Italy.
US Team manger Antti Kallonen said of the US Trophy Teams efforts, “Our preparations that we did at home and the week here have really paid off. But there are still 4 long days ahead and then the final moto on the sixth day. So we still have our work cut out for us. Right now we have to recover from Day-one, rest up a little bit and do again what we did today.
“Our goal is to have 5 riders in the top 15 everyday and today we had five in the top 20 and that was good enough for 2nd. For tomorrow we have to stay focused on meeting our goal of five riders finishing in the top 15. Hopefully we can get the 6th rider in there as well incase we loose one of our riders.” In ISDE team competition the lowest riders score in each of the trophy team classes, World, Junior and Women’s, is dropped from the team’s tally each day.
In all five of the US World Trophy Team’s six riders made the overall top 20 for the day with Charlie Mullins, Mike Brown and Kurt Caselli joining Taylor in that category. Remaining US Trophy Team rider Thad Duvall had front brake problems which relegated him to a respectable 32nd place overall considering his bikes mechanical problems.
The four-rider US Junior Team was led by Kailub Russell who finished 10th in the E2 class where his score was good enough to be the fastest rider of all of the “Junior Team” riders.
Kallonen said, “The junior team did very well today also. We’re still waiting to see individual scores but it looks like Kailub Russell was the fastest junior rider. Again they were all consistent and we’re looking for them to do the same thing tomorrow for Day-two.” Joining Russell on the US Junior Team is Andrew Delong, Jesse Groemm and Grant Baylor.
Delong said, “Kailub, Jesse and Grant all did a good job and now we know what to expect so it should go better. It’s a tough event to train for as most of us just got done running a national enduro back home and then we have to fly here and adjust to this format.”
The US Wellard three-rider club team, Jimmy Jarrett, Ryan Sipes and Nick Fahringer, finished the first day of the six day competition with overall day scores good enough for third place with Fahringer finishing 3rd in the C3 class and Jarrett and Sipes finishing 5th and 6th place respectively in the C2 class.
Ryan Sipes, who is riding in his first ISDE said, “I has a real good time, I crashed hard a couple of times, mostly due to dust, but I still had a good time. It was a lot of fun on the transfer sections where you could just ride and have some fun. I went in a little bit early and got a penalty point (60 seconds) but I won’t do that again.
The US Women’s Team, made up off riders Mandi Mastin, Rachel Gutish and Brooke Hodges, finished the day intact but struggled to do much better than 6th place, but still less than 4 minutes behind the French team, whom finished in third place. Australia and Sweden lead the Women’s World Trophy Team division.
Mastin said, “Today had a little bit of everything, it had some easy trail, fast tests and a couple big hill climbs. I haven’t had a chance to see the scores yet but I know I need to make some more adjustments to my suspension. I got it close but I need a little more time to get it right. The biggest problem is the dust.”
Day-two of the ISDE runs the same course as Day-one.