Enduro

U.S. and Australian Women claim 2023 ISDE Lead on day one in Argentina

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Josep Garcia on day one od the 2023 FIM International Six Day’s Enduro
Spains Josep Garcia leads the overall honours after day one. Photo: Future7Media

The ninety-seventh FIM International Six Day’s Enduro (ISDE) is underway in San Juan, Argentina, with the United States claiming victory on day one in the 2023 FIM World Trophy classification.

Sweden ended day one with an early lead in the FIM Junior World Trophy, while Australia topped the time sheets in the FIM Women’s World Trophy.

After weeks of anticipation and build-up, competitors from over thirty nations finally rolled off the start ramp this morning for the FIM International Six Day’s Enduro in San Juan. With a long and demanding day ahead of them, they battled their way through some intense heat and rough terrain.

United States top FIM World Trophy on day one

In the FIM World Trophy classification, it was Jed Etchells of defending nation Great Britain who held the honour of being the first rider onto the opening special test. And almost immediately the race for victory was on as rider after rider filtered through. The United States made their mark from the get-go and led Great Britain by nine seconds, with Italy a further six seconds behind in third.

After three tests, the United States was looking comfortable in the heat and dust and had extended that advantage out to thirty-two seconds over Italy, who were now in second. With Spain up to third, Great Britain was bumped down to fourth.

Exiting the sixth and final test of the day, the United States could be pleased with their opening-day efforts in Argentina. Led by Dante Oliveira, all four riders placed inside the top eight overall to give them a one-minute-and-fifty-five-second lead heading into day two.

“But it’s been a great day for the team,” said Oliveira. “The liaison sections were tough with nowhere to rest, but the conditions are similar to what we can get back home. With the same course to ride tomorrow, it’s going to be a tough day!”

Behind them, the battle for the remainder of the top five chopped and changed multiple times. Great Britain worked their way back up to second, while France came on strong in the latter half of the day to snatch third. Spain and Italy completed the top five. Chile were the best of the South American nations in sixth, with host country Argentina seventh.

Andrea Verona on day one of the 2023 FIM International Six Day’s Enduro
Andrea Verona has set himself out as the rider to beat in Enduro2 and leads the way by one minute. Photo: Future7Media

Sweden set the pace in FIM Junior World Trophy

Setting the pace on the opening day, Sweden raced to a commanding day one win in the FIM Junior World Trophy category. The trio of Albin Norrbin, Axel Semb, and Max Ahlin were impressive as they quickly mastered the slippery, dusty terrain. Pulling clear of their rivals, they lead the way by two minutes and twenty-eight seconds.

“It was incredibly hot out there and a very tough start to the ISDE,” told Norrbin. “We’ve had a good day though and it’s awesome to be leading already. We’ll try to keep pushing tomorrow.”

As defending FIM Junior World Trophy champions, Italy placed well on day one with second position. But they know that they will have to fight hard tomorrow to reel the Swedes back in. France ended day one in third overall, but have the United States close behind in fourth. Only fifteen seconds separate both nations at this early stage in the race.

Australia and United States battle in FIM Women’s World Trophy

The FIM Women’s World Trophy category is already shaping up to be an exciting battle between Australia and the United States. Australia holds the upper hand at the end of day one, but it’s a very slender lead at just two seconds.

After three tests, Australia held a one-minute lead over the United States. But on test four, the United States managed to reduce that gap to just thirteen seconds. Australia responded and pulled it out to nineteen seconds before one last attack from the United States on the sixth and final test saw them bring it back to two seconds.

Already over twelve minutes behind Australia and the United States are France in third. Peru holds fourth. There was disappointment for defending champions Great Britain after they dropped out of contention when Emily Hall retired.

Josep Garcia races to tops the overall classification

Picking up where they left off in 2022, the battle for overall individual honours resumed between Spain’s Josep Garcia and Italy’s Andrea Verona. Verona was quickest on the opening special test before Garcia went on to top the five remaining special tests. He leads Verona by twelve seconds, with Dante Oliveira a further one minute behind in third.

“It’s nice to have day one in the bag,” said Garcia. “I struggled a bit on the first lap, but soon settled into the race. My speed came good, and I was happy with how I ended. But for sure it will be a long race.”

The Enduro1 category saw Garcia get out to an early lead over Jed Etchells. France’s Theo Espinasse is just three seconds behind Etchells in third.

Verona has set himself out as the rider to beat in Enduro2 and leads the way by one minute over Oliveira. The United States figure strongly, with Cole Martinez and Taylor Robert in third and fourth respectively.

The Enduro3 category is proving highly competitive with just six seconds separating the top three riders. France’s Loic Larrieu is fastest by four seconds over Spain’s Jaume Betriu, with Albin Norrbin third.

XC Gear lead the way in the Club Team Award

With seventy-seven teams entered in the Club Team Award, excitement was high early on day one as competitors left the start in the Villicum Circuit. It proved a memorable opener to the 6DAYS® for the United States as they filled out the top three placings. XC Gear won by fifteen seconds over braaptastic.com, with GTBN a further eight seconds behind in third. Argentina were fourth, with Missouri Mudders rounding out the top five.

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