Enduro

United States Still Lead At 2023 ISDE Midway Point

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Dante Oliveira on his way to helping team U.S.A. maintain a strong lead at the halfway point. Photo: Future7Media

The ninety-seventh FIM International Six Day’s Enduro (ISDE) reached mid-distance with the United States maintaining their lead in the FIM World Trophy competition.

Sweden further extended their advantage in the FIM Junior World Trophy, while the United States continue to be the nation to beat in the FIM Women’s World Trophy in San Juan, Argentina.

It was a sombre start to day three of the ISDE after news of the sad passing of Albert Pos from the Netherlands had filtered through the Villicum Circuit race paddock late on Tuesday evening. A minute of silence prior to the start of today’s racing was observed in memory of Pos who had been competing in the Club Team Award category.

A new course greeted those who rolled off the starting ramp for day three in San Juan. The one hundred and fifteen kilometre long Red Loop took competitors southwest of the Villicum Circuit along the northern shorelines of the nearby Dique Ullum and Punta Negra lakes. The fresh set of special tests offered a new challenge.

Exciting day of racing in the FIM World Trophy

Showing no signs of slowing down, the United States won the opening special test by four seconds over France, with Spain just behind in third. Italy were fourth, while Great Britain completed it in fifth, but lost some time to their rivals.

At the end of lap one it was Spain who were now out front by thirty-four seconds. France and Italy, separated by just two seconds, were second and third respectively. The United States suddenly looked in trouble sitting some fifty-four seconds back in fourth.

Quickly regrouping on the fourth special test to start the second and final lap, the United States raced their way back into the lead. Adding more time to their rivals, they went on to win day three by fifty-five seconds.

Italy put in a strong afternoon to edge out Spain by nine seconds and claimed the runner-up result on day three. With France in fourth, it was Great Britain who struggled on day three, finishing nearly three minutes behind the United States in fifth.

“It was nice to have some more relaxing liaison sections,” told Great Britain’s Jed Etchells. “The new tests were good too, so overall it was a good day out there.

“We lost a bit of time to France today, but we’ll try to pull that back tomorrow and push on again.”

The overall classification now sees the United States lead the FIM World Trophy category by eight minutes and fifteen seconds from Great Britain. France remains third but has closed the gap to Great Britain. They are just forty seconds behind the defending champions with three days remaining.

Spain and Italy complete the top five, with Chile, Argentina, and Canada holding sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. Venezuela and Brazil round out the top ten.

Thibaut Giraudon on day three of the 2023 FIM International Six Day’s Enduro
Thibaut Giraudon said it was a good day for France in the FIM Junior World Trophy after they kept the United States at bay to hold second place. Photo: Future7Media

Sweden holds firm out front in FIM Junior World Trophy

Sweden were once again the dominant force in the FIM Junior World Trophy class. As has been the case all week, the trio of Axel Semb, Albin Norrbin, and Max Ahlin filled out the top three positions in the Junior rankings. Today it was Semb who took the win, edging out his teammate Norrbin by three seconds.

France kept the United States at bay to finish day three in second but is still looking for that extra bit of pace to trouble leaders Sweden. Host nation Argentina enjoyed a great performance, beating the Czech Republic to take fourth.

“It was a good day for us,” told Thibaut Giraudon of France. “The new tests were very nice to ride, and I enjoyed them a lot.

“Our team is doing well, and the goal is to stay focused for these next three days. Sweden is super fast, but there is still a long way to go, so who knows what can happen!”

After three days, Sweden now leads by almost twelve minutes. France holds a two minute and forty-five second lead over the United States in third. Argentina sit fourth overall. With hopes of a podium still on their minds, they will look to keep the pressure on the top three nations during these final three days of racing.

Tayla Jones on day three of the 2023 FIM International Six Day’s Enduro
Aussie Tayla Jones admitted that the 2023 FIM International Six Day’s Enduro is one of the toughest the Aussie team has faced. Photo: Futre7Media

United States continue to dominate FIM Women’s World Trophy

In the FIM Women’s World Trophy class, the United States once again pushed the pace at the top of the classification. Winning the opening special test by over one minute, they set about building their lead throughout the day. At the end of lap one they had pulled two minutes and twenty-three seconds clear of Australia in second place.

Closing out their day with a five minute and thirty-three second margin of victory, the United States began the second half with a very comfortable ten minute and thirty-one second advantage over Australia.

“We’re halfway through the race, but so far it’s been one of the gnarliest ones we’ve done,” said Australia’s Tayla Jones. “The combination of heat, dust, rocks, and big days is hard. But we’re tough and will keep plugging away at it.”

“The United States are riding great, but we’re happy with the position we’re in. It’s physically tiring and super easy to make a mistake. I’ll rest up this evening and get ready for the second half of the week.”

Behind the United States and Australia, Team FIM LA of Barbara Neves, Tania Gonzales and Valeria Rodriguez hold onto third overall.

Josep Garcia on day three of the 2023 FIM International Six Day’s Enduro
Spains Josep Garcia retook the lead in the outright race. Photo: Future7Media

Garcia moves back into the overall lead with day three victory

In the fight of individual honours, it was Spain’s Josep Garcia who took the overall victory on day three. The Spaniard was sensational, claiming five of the day’s six special tests. Italy’s Andrea Verona continued to apply the pressure, finishing just seventeen seconds behind him as runner-up.

It was a good day for Italy with Verona’s teammate Samuele Bernardini finishing third. With his day three win, Garcia moves back into the overall lead.

In Enduro1, it was a day three win for Garcia, with Bernardini in second. France’s Theo Espinasse beat Great Britain’s Jed Etchells by just two seconds to take third. Verona claimed the Enduro2 class win for the third time. The United States’ Taylor Robert edged out his teammate Cole Martinez for second.

Albin Norrbin was the fastest Enduro3 class rider on day three. The Swede topped the classification by seventeen seconds over France’s Loic Larrieu, with fellow Frenchman Julien Roussaly third. Only thirty seconds separated the top five in Enduro3.

XC Gear lead Club Team Award

In the Club Team Award, there was no change at the top of the leader board, with XC Gear securing their third day win. Josh Toth continues to remain the rider to beat. braaptastic.com hold on to second overall, while GTBN have worked their way back in front of Argentina to take third.

The 2023 FIM International Six Day’s Enduro moves into the second half of race week with tomorrow’s day four using the same loop as today, so conditions are sure to be rough out on the course as rider fatigue becomes a real factor throughout the field.

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