Back home in Australia, Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team manager and Australian ISDE stalwart Glenn Kearney has spoken out about the Six-Day Enduro that ended in some controversy.
The event was the most successful ISDE in history for Team Australia, with victory to its Women‰Ûªs and Junior Trophy Teams, and a controversial second place awarded to its world Trophy squad, which led the majority of the event until the previously disqualified French team became provisionally reinstated.
An ISDE veteran of 13 years, Kearney knows second place is a bum deal. The very rulebook which has excluded many (including himself) in the past seems to have been disregarded at the moment when it could have kept him and his teammates on top of the world.
The six-man Australian team comprising Kearney, Stanford, Beau Ralston, World Enduro Champion Matt Phillips, Daniel Milner and Josh Green had been locked in a fierce battle for supremacy with the United States early in the event, but when the US dropped out of the running and Australia's lead changed from seconds to minutes, most of the Aussies naturally shifted back a gear to conserve and ensure a safe finish
Thought to be impossible, the reinstatement of the previously excluded French team on day five of the event left the Aussies trailing by two minutes with not enough time to react, and although they managed to halve the deficit in the final motocross, the record currently shows that they finished second.
‰ÛÏApparently it's got to go to court and the way I understand it, it's still provisional until the French get officially let back into the results." Kearney stated in a Husqvarna Australia statement released today. "It‰Ûªs definitely disappointing and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth, that's for sure.
"I‰Ûªve been racing six-days for the last 13 years now, and I've been on the wrong side of the rule book a couple of times and that‰Ûªs just part and parcel of enduro. I've been excluded before. To see it come down to that again and then the rulebook just get thrown out the window is disappointing.
"When France was excluded for missing a route check, we looked to our management - who do a great job - and they said, ‰Û÷yeah they are definitely going to be out - there is no other rule, no time penalty can be given, it‰Ûªs exclusion only‰Ûª.
"Don Atkins (Team Manager) lives and dies by the letter of the law in that rule book and for him to have it thrown in his face after decades of work behind the Australian Six-Day team is just gut wrenching.
"The issue is that to begin with we were battling with America, and Milner and Matthew and those guys were really leading the charge and even the young boys and there was only a few seconds in it." Kearney continued. "But when the Yanks went out on day three and suddenly our lead jumped from seconds to minutes, the team backed it down a notch and played it safe - all we had to do was stay on and ride well and we'd get the job done.
"Milner kept on pushing because he had a shot at the outright, but you could see the other guys backed it down a little bit on each test. And that proved to be the difference in the end.
All the boys were stoked with each other that they had been riding really well and the team vibe was good, it's just disappointing to get to the end of it and find that the result is different.
Kearney who was a last minute replacement for Josh Strang after the American based Aussie ran into visa troubles, admitted he struggled to get used to the bike that was prepared for Strang and focused on putting in solid results incase one of the other Aussie world trophy team members had an off day.
"Being a late inclusion and being on Josh's bike where the motocross engine and gearbox were issues for me, it was pretty obvious straight away that I wasn't going to be right up there with the guys so I sort of just took the role of being there just in case something went wrong." Kearney added.
"I rode okay, but I would have much preferred to have been on my own machinery, that's for sure.
Top Image: Glenn Kearney in action at the 2015 ISDE