It’s over. Day two is in the tank and the dust is settling.
Competition just completed on day two of the 2008 ISDE in Greece and so much drama happened that I can’t fit it into one blog. If I were to tell you everything I saw today, it’d be an entire dirtrider.com feature story and that’d take more than me just punching a few keys while I soak in my own stench in the internationally populated press room (fairly stenchy already). Honestly, I’m really stoked on the idea of a shower right now and until I get some feedback from the FIM jury, I won’t have the entire story. Here’s what we do know:
Kurt Caselli, the overall leader heading into today, is being penalized by the FIM for breaking track barriers and entering the course in an area other than the one he exited. Kurt told me he was “coming in hot” and had to drive through a ribbon barrier. Once he picked himself up, Caselli decided to not go back to the point of exit and instead ride directly parallel to the course and jump in with the flow of traffic.
Riding backwards on the course is grounds for immediate disqualification from the entire event so Caselli didn’t want to risk that and went forward. Initially, the penalty was penciled in for five minutes but the next number dropped in place was only one minute. This looks to be the penalty they’ll impose and that puts Kurt back a few spots after today’s results but he’s still rounding out the top five. But Kurt and the team aren’t letting it really get to them. Plus, it seems he’s still in second in his class with the minute penalty and only trails by about 10 seconds. Yes, that means he had almost a minute lead after two days. He’s cool like that.
Nathan Woods was ON THE GAS today. After his rough mechanical day yesterday, he rallied his RM-Z450 into the front of two test overalls. Woods killed the competition in the MX test (same parking lot of jumps and elevated turns as yesterday) putting in the fastest laps (by 3 seconds) in the morning and again in the afternoon. He also had the huge disadvantage of riding about an hour behind the leaders all day.
Needless to say, Woods put a big positive on his ISDE scorecard for day two and is contributing nicely to the team effort. It’s taking a lot of mental power by Woods to do so. Even not counting yesterday’s mid-test mechanical, Woods had to deal with a sound test failure on his way into impound after his service stop. Luckily, he was allowed time to bring the bike into compliance and swapped mufflers quickly. All of this at the very end of the day! The ISDE is tough for a lot of reasons and Woods can tell you all about them.
Ricky Dietrich had a fairly uneventful day again and after all scores are tallied the speedy Kawi rider is in 7th overall! He’s putting his ride in front of a pile of World Enduro Championship regulars and sits second in his class behind Spain’s Ivan Cervantes. He pushed it through the first Enduro Test today, admittedly taking too many risks yet somehow pulling it off. His first Enduro time was the only one on Team USA under the five minute barrier if you don’t count Kurt Caselli who is riding out of his mind. Ricky is consistently about a second off of Cervantes’ pace which is a huge success in itself.
Nathan Kanney told me about a serious get-off he had in one of the tests today.
“You know when Ricky crashed at Washougal that one time when he was racing against Bubba,” Kanney asked. “Well, I sort of did that. I was coming down some rocks and I was already fully piled into the bars, then when it compressed, the bike catapulted me forward and I wadded onto a big rock.”
Kanney brushed himself off and managed to keep his pace fast enough to maintain a top 20 overall position. Speaking of top 20, with Ricky Dietrich in 7th overall and Caselli in 5th after his penalty, the USA is looking pretty strong.
I’ll keep posting updates on the Trophy Team as I find them…until then, keep rooting for the team through your computer or whatever else you can find to scream at.
I just watched Women’s team members Mariah Forsberg and Nicole Bradford swap tires, filters and check over their bikes with precision under the intense pressure of the clock. It was bad-ace. I’m never going to complain about changing tires ever again.
The Women’s Team is still in second place, down about six minutes.
Club Team results aren’t posted yet but it seems the USA Junior Team was still suffering from setbacks that started with Ryan Powell having to retire from competition yesterday. Powell separated his shoulder and is sitting the rest of this one out. I’ll get more word as I hear it.