More Day-four photos here: http://berkyboy.smugmug.com/Other/ITALY-ISDE-2013-Day-4/32164128_LMvJnd
by Steve Berkner
Olbia, Italy – Day-four of the International Six Days Enduro saw the US trophy team give up its second place finish to Australia where the American team again sits in third place while France continues its dominance in the World Trophy Team division.
The “sea-saw” second place battle between the US and the Australians, which has had each team lead the other two times over the first four days of the six day enduro, has come down to a which team can make the fewer mistakes. France now leads both the US and Australian teams by just over 11 minutes.
US ISDE team manager Antti Kallonen said, “Unfortunately we did loose some time to Australia today where we now trail them by 45 seconds. Our riders have still been very consistent in their test scores. Like I predicted yesterday I’m sure it’s going to come down to the wire with Australia as we are very evenly matched.”
Much of that time was lost to clutch problems encountered by trophy team rider Mike Brown who had to change out his second clutch for the week. By the end of the day Brown had replaced his clutch.
Brown said, “Right now everything is good to go for the next two days.” Brown’s misfortunes dropped him from 5th E3 overall on Day-three to 7th overall on Day-four. He remained in 4th overall through 4 days of the event.
Kallonen said, “France is still advancing on both of us but all they have to do is loose a key rider and both of us could possibly challenge them, then it will come down to the final moto were on paper we have the edge as we have more experienced motocrossers. But first we have to get through Day-five.” Rounding out the top five in the World Trophy Team division are Italy and Spain.
This year’s US Trophy team is being represented by Brown, Taylor Robert, Zach Osborne, whom are all pro class motocrossers back in the US, Thad Duvall, Charlie Mullins and team captain Kurt Caselli.
After four days of this year Italian Six days Robert remains “Top American” in 8th place overall.
In the Junior Team category the US team remained in fourth place behind first place France, second place Italy and third place Great Britain. Kallonen said of the US Junior Team’s effort, “We are still struggling to move up but considering there are two new riders (on the four-rider team) they are doing pretty good.
“Kailub Russell has been doing very well for his first Six Days, his scores are holding up were he was in the top five of the juniors for the day.” Joining Russell on the team are Andrew Delong, Jesse Groemm and Grant Baylor.
The US Women’s Trophy Team remained in sixth place, US women’s team rider Brooke Hodges said, “Today was the toughest day by far. We all had a few trail points today, it was mostly single track with a couple of road sections thrown in, opposite of what Day-one, two and three was like.
“Yesterday (Day-three) was a really rough day for me, even though the trails were tougher today, mentally, yesterday was harder for me. I’m really looking forward to getting tomorrow over with and on to the final moto.” Along with Hodges this year’s US women’s team roster is made up of Mandi Mastin and Rachel Gutish.
The US Wellard club team, made up of riders Ryan Sipes, Nick Fahringer and Jimmy Jarrett, continued their quest for that club team championship where the team finished the day in second place.
Kallonen said, “The Wellard team has been doing very well with all three riders turning in very respectable times. Sipes is doing extremely well where he now leads the C2 division. Some of his test times would hold up very well in the Trophy Team division.
“Tomorrow is the last hard day so a lot of energy and effort has to go into it. Day-six is just a 15 minute motocross test.”