Enduro

United States Fend Off Italy For Narrow Victory At 2023 ISDE Day Four

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Taylor Robert on day three of the 2023 FIM International Six Day’s Enduro
Taylor Robert on the way to helping team USA to what looks like a certain FIM World Trophy win at the 2023 FIM International Six Day’s Enduro. Photo: Future7Media

It was close at the top of the FIM World Trophy competition on day four of the 2023 FIM International Six Day’s Enduro (ISDE), with the United States claiming a hard-fought victory over Italy.

Battling all day, the United States beat the Italians by just four seconds for the win.

Sweden made it four wins from four starts in this year’s FIM Junior World Trophy class, while the United States marched ahead to a comfortable lead over Team FIM LA in the FIM Women’s World Trophy after Australia dropped out of the event.

The fourth day of racing at the ninety-seventh ISDE delivered some exciting action. With the United States so far holding firm at the top of the FIM World Trophy standings, many began to wonder if they could remain unbeaten in this year’s race. Italy, however, were determined to try and prove otherwise.

United States and Italy go head-to-head

On the opening special test ‘Villicum’, Italy hit the ground running and pulled a fourteen-second lead over the United States, with France just a further two seconds behind in third. Keeping the rhythm high, they extended their lead to twenty seconds after test two. And as they completed lap one of two, were still fifteen seconds up on their rivals.

Entering the final lap, Italy were fired up to snatch a day win, but the United States were not ready to back down. Arriving at the sixth and final special test of the day, Italy led by six seconds, but it proved not to be their day.

Andrea Verona on day three of the 2023 FIM International Six Day’s Enduro
Italian Andrea Verona remains the rider to beat in Enduro2. Photo: Future7Media

Pulling out all the stops, the United States overhauled the Italians and took the day four win by just four seconds. Finishing over two minutes behind them, France placed third, with Spain and Great Britain fourth and fifth respectively.

“That was quite the fight today for the victory” said Italy’s Samuele Bernardini. “We were leading until the final test, but then I had a crash and lost some time and we just missed out at the very end.

“For the overall, it’s good though. We made back a lot of time now and we can fight for the podium. Tomorrow is the final long day, before day six motocross, so let’s see what we can do!”

In the overall standings, the United States maintains an eleven-minute lead. But behind them, the fight for the remainder of the podium is intensifying. France has now moved up to second position and leads third-placed Great Britain by nine seconds.

However, Italy are now only twenty-four seconds behind Great Britain, and with the defending champions appearing to struggle today, they will need to bounce back tomorrow to keep their podium hopes alive.

Axel Semb on day three of the 2023 FIM International Six Day’s Enduro
Axel Semb has helped team Sweeden to a lead of over sixteen minutes in the FIM Junior World Trophy. Photo: Future7Media

Sweden remains unbeatable in the FIM Junior World Trophy

There was no change at the top of the FIM Junior World Trophy class, with Sweden again powering clear to victory. The Swedish trio of Albin Norrbin, Axel Semb, and Max Ahlin are one of the major talking points. Leading the race by over sixteen minutes, they will tomorrow hope to have a trouble-free day of racing.

On day four, France were next best to the Swedes, albeit four minutes behind. Beating the United States by two minutes and thirty seconds, they strengthened their advantage over the United States to more than five minutes. Argentina now looks to have the better of the Czech Republic and sits fourth overall.

“We’re super happy to reach day four in this position,” says Argentina’s Cristobal Sola. “In the beginning things were super tough and long, especially with the heat. But it seems to have settled now.

“Our energy in the team is good and it’s amazing to have the support of the home fans out on the track. It’s hard to describe the feeling of being cheered on by the public like that. It’s for sure helping us a lot.”

Rachel Gutish on day three of the 2023 FIM International Six Day’s Enduro
Rachel Gutish and Team USA are certain winners in the FIM Women’s World Trophy class after Australia dropped out on day four. Photo: Future7Media

Australia drop of out the running in FIM Women’s World Trophy

In the FIM Women’s World Trophy category, the United States once again strengthened their grip on this year’s title with the day four victory. But it was the exit of Australia that became the biggest talking point of the day.

The Australians looked good this morning, placing second to the United States on the first test. However, soon after their luck turned, with Tayla Jones dropping out.

“Well, it is not the post I want to be making only 4 days in but my time racing this years ISDE came to an end early. In the final test of day 3 I had a gnarly crash dislocating my shoulder and causing some damage,” Jones explained on social media. “I lined up this morning but after the first transfer, I knew there was no way it would hold up and would cause more crashes. I’m bummed to not be able to finish alongside my amazing teammates but I am super proud of how awesome they’re both doing!”

Tayla Jones crash on day three of the 2023 FIM International Six Day’s Enduro
A heavy crash and a dislocated shoulder Tayla Jones spelled the end of the 2023 FIM International Six Day’s Enduro for Australia.

Australia’s loss was suddenly Team FIM LA’s gain, with the South American trio of Barbara Neves, Tania Gonzales, and Valeria Rodriguez moving up to second.

“This is my first time in the ISDE,” said Team FIM LA’s Barbara Neves. “My main goal is to reach the finish line.

“I never quite expected us to be in a podium position like this, but it’s super exciting. It’s been a very hard four days so far, but our team spirits are high, and we will keep fighting until the end!”

Josep Garcia on day four of the 2023 FIM International Six Day’s Enduro
Spaniard Josep Garcia holds the lead in the outright standings going into day five. Photo: Future7Media

Victory on day four for Josep Garcia

In the individual classification, it was another victory for Josep Garcia. The Spaniard won all but one of the day’s six special tests to win by eighteen seconds over Italy’s Andrea Verona. The fight for third was extremely close, with the United States’ Taylor Robert edging out Italy’s Samuele Bernardini and United States’ Johnny Girroir.

In Enduro1 it was a comfortable victory for Garcia, topping the standings by over one minute. Bernardini enjoyed a good day at the office to finish second, with Great Britain’s Jed Etchells third.

Verona remains the rider to beat in Enduro2, with the Italian taking victory on day four. Robert beat teammate Girroir by four seconds to take the runner-up spot.

It was a perfect day for Sweden’s Albin Norrbin in Enduro3, with the Fantic rider winning all six tests to top the category. France’s Loic Larrieu and Julien Roussaly completed the top three.

Shake up in Club Team Award

XC Gear rode clear to take a three-minute margin of victory in the Club Team Award on day four. However, behind them there was a shake up in the standings. braaptastic.com hit trouble and dropped out of the running order. GTBN move up to second overall, with home team Argentina slotting into third.

The 2023 ISDE begins its fifth and penultimate day of racing tomorrow. With the end of the race now on the horizon, the new Yellow Loop will take competitors from the Villicum Circuit along the south side of the Dique Ullum Lake and past the fringes of San Juan city. However, with six more tests to complete and an estimated seven hours and thirty minutes of ride time, day five will be the longest of the week.

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