Erzgebirge, Germany, (Sept 24, 2012) – Racing got underway today at the 87th running of the International Six Days Enduro and the French squad came out swinging, landing four riders in the top six, with Husaberg factory rider Pierre-Alexandre Renet leading the way.
The only teams to challenge the French were the Finns, who won last year’s event on their own turf, and the Australian’s. At the end of the day, the top six riders were Renet (FRA), Antoine Meo (FRA), Eero Remes (FIN), Johnny Aubert (FRA), Juha Salminen (FIN), and Christophe Nambotin (FRA).
As for the American squad, things took an ugly turn in the fast and sketchy second special test when Kurt Caselli and Charlie Mullins both took diggers. Caselli injured his shoulder, but shook it off and got back on the trail, although quite a ways down the order from where he wanted to be. Mullins took less of a hit, and in fact, the FMF/KTM rider finished the day as the best American finisher in 11th overall. Kawasaki’s Taylor Roberts was second American at 18th, while Caselli came next, putting his FMF/KTM into 32nd.
“I had a big crash in the enduro test and landed on my shoulder that is already sore, so I obviously didn’t feel good after that,” said Caselli. “I didn’t get a good time there and it kind of jacked me up for the rest of the day. But the team is doing really well, Charlie rode awesome and so did Taylor, and Bobbitt had some really good test times. Brownie was out front so he was breaking in trail. We’re all still going and it’s a long week. This kind of happens every year where the Americans actually finish stronger than we start, because it’s a different format and we’ve got to get used to it and dial the bikes in. I think tomorrow I’ll do better and we’ll all do better.”
Michael Brown, Russell Bobbitt and Destry Abbott make up the rest of the US Trophy Team, with Brownie in 38th on the day, Bobbitt in 43rd, and Abbott in 62nd.
In the E2 division, Mullins was sitting sixth, while Caselli was 13th. Thad DuVall, from the U.S. Junior Trophy team was 20th.
The US Junior Trophy Team did well, sitting fifth despite the fact that they are all rookies with the exception of Andrew DeLong. Leading the day in the Junior Trophy division is Italy in first, Great Britain in second, Australia in third and France in fourth. DeLong, DuVall, Travis Coy and Jesse Groemm all felt like they would improve with each day.
With five days still to go, France leads the World Trophy division with a total time of 5:37:01.50, Australia is second with 5:41:14.79, and Finland is third at 5:42:35.92. The US squad is sixth overall, with Spain fourth, and Italy in fifth.
The American women’s team, consisting of Mandi Mastin, Sarah Whitmore and Rachel Gutish, are also fifth, behind France, Australia, Germany and Sweden.
ISDE Notes: Day One
• The second special test, the “Enduro” test, was fast It was and sketchy and most of the riders thought it was dangerous. It mostly consisted of fast, wooded trail with exposed roots and stumps.
• Charlie Mullins rode a great race considering he’s an ISDE rookie. The FMF/KTM rider said the tests we’re anything like he expected and it took him a while to get used to the braking points and wide trail. He ended the day in sixth in the E2 class and should improve on that as he adapts to the format and terrain.
• Michael Brown was one of the first riders on the trail in the morning and was breaking trail in most of the sections. He was the very first rider to attack the grass track section on the last loop and the KTM rider looked super fast, throwing roost on the spectators.
• There was a lot of road work in the small towns that surround the area and the local police were busting riders for speeding. Thad DuVall was stopped and had to pay 15 Euros on the spot to be able to continue.
• Mullins was third fastest in the Enduro test on the second lap, finishing behind Meo and Renet.