Former US Trials champion, 2014/2015 AMA EnduroCross champ and recent Tennessee Knockout winner, Cody Webb, was among the many Americans who traveled to Brive, France, for the 92nd running of the International Six Days Enduro. Cody actually went as a competitor, which is something new for the young Californian and quite different from his EnduroCross and extreme racing background. Cody rode the event as a member of the SRT Offroad Team along with teammates Ty Tremaine and Ben Kelley, finishing third in the Club division.
We spoke to Cody in after the event in Brive to get his reaction to riding his very first ISDE.
So what are you thoughts on your first ISDE?
The first day was really long and miserable. I didn’t have much fun. I wasted a lot of energy. I was one of the last guys out, so the course was hammered. I ended up riding with everyone who wasn’t making their checks on time. I just didn’t have the times I wanted. I felt like I was riding pretty good but I was pretty far off on times. On Day Two I didn’t eat as much dust all day because I was able to move up in my starting position. But in the second enduro test, I came around a corner and it was pure silt and I hit something that obviously I didn’t see. I got sideways and I just held it wide open and tried and straighten out. Unfortunately it shot me into a tree. I hurt my shoulder pretty good and kind of banged up the bike. By the time I got going I got passed by the guy behind me, who I had already put some ground on. I rode with my bike all bent and actually passed him back. I did my best to make up on lost time. So, that really hurt me in the overall that day. I think that crash took a little bit of wind out of my sails the rest of the day. I pushed that little extra bit, but I was a little uncomfortable the rest of the day after hitting a tree.
By the end of the week I was really enjoying it and felt like I was kind of starting to catch a rhythm. So, that was a great experience. I think it definitely helped with my sprint speed and trying to learn how to ride at a high intensity. I had a couple crashes, but it was a blast. I’m really glad that I put in the effort to come here and make it happen.
A lot of riders who are champions in one form of the sport are afraid to try something new because they’re afraid they’ll look bad. What made you decide to ride Six Days?
I definitely feel like I’m making myself look bad right now (laughs). To be honest, it doesn’t bother me to take that chance of making myself look bad by trying something new. I come from such a weird, hybrid background, and I honestly want to try and do whatever I can while I can. Life’s short. You might as well do all you can. Luckily riding for the Factory KTM team, I got the offer to have a bike here for me. It’s a great experience. Something I’ve always wanted to do, just because I went to Trials des Nations seven or eight times so it would be cool to go on the enduro side of things, so here we are.
What surprised you most about Six Days?
It’s so fast and intense. You’re just flat-out… You’re not risking your life, but it sure seems like it. The guys who excel at it like Taylor Robert and Ryan Sipes, they look comfortable doing it. I can’t even match that speed and I’m flinging off into trees. It’s a crazy pace these guys run. They’re all out. I don’t feel comfortable riding that fast.
How does it compare to extreme racing or EnduroCross?
It’s completely different from Endurocross. Endurocross is a sprint, but you can get into a pace and then you’re not flat-out the whole race and you’re doing laps on a track. It’s obviously way trickier stuff you’re riding. Six Days is more mentally fatiguing than physically exhausting. Most of the mistakes you make are on the transfer sections. There were definitely some tough transfers. But it was enjoyable and all rideable. I looked at my heart rate the first couple days and I was burning I think around 3400 calories or something like that. At Erzberg in three and a half hours you’ll burn 3,000 calories. The intensity, it’s only short-lived. The transfers here… It’s just maintaining a good pace. The transfers are hard enough to where a normal guy struggles. There’s definitely a different feeling of being tired at the end of the day, just because seven hours on a bike or whatever it’s a long time no matter what you’re doing.
What about Six Days was different from what you envisioned?
There’s a lot of walking involved. It’s crazy how much prep work goes into it. I’m excited to be here, experience it. I did Trial de Nations seven times maybe, or eight. I don’t remember exactly. I just thought it would be cool to say I’ve ridden a Trial des Nations and also a Six Days. I’m not on the trophy team, but still part of the whole experience walking with the Trophy guys and seeing what it takes. Unless you do it, you don’t know. I’m here. Just tons of walking. You really see how serious and how much effort it takes to be overall in Six Days. Seeing what Sipes and Taylor are doing out there. It’s been quite an experience. Hopefully I’ll learn how to hit some flat, grassy corners by the end of the week.
So, this is quite a bit different from what you expected?
Yeah, it’s totally different. I feel a little out of my element. I’m out there on the course looking for rocks to hit and logs and there’s not much of them.
What was the coolest thing you saw or did while you were over here?
A: Probably helping a dude who flew off a cliff in a transfer. I rode his bike back on the trail for him. I had a bunch of people pull me up the hill. Another person fell out there on the transfers. I helped them pick up their bikes. It’s long days on the bike. You might as well help people out if they need.
Any last thoughts?
I think honestly I was surprised by the amount of support from the USA crews. I never expected that many people were here putting forth an effort. Every check, after you ride an hour straight of just transfers, it was nice to sit back and have everything catered for you right there. It was unreal how much effort goes into the whole team program. It makes it easier for the riders. All we have to focus on is just hammering down on the checks and make sure you’re not making any silly mistakes transfers.