Welcome to The Weekly Dirt, the place to go each Wednesday to catch up on the latest happenings in the realm of off-road motorcycling. This week we’re checking in on the 87th International Six Days Enduro in Finland, as Team USA attempts to bring home the Gold.
After attending opening ceremonies on Sunday in Hamina, some 20 kilometers north of the host city of Kotka, racing got underway on Monday with the official start of the Six Days competition. Representing the United States are 28 of America’s best off-roaders, including a six-man World Trophy Team consisting of Destry Abbott, Russell Bobbitt, Kurt Caselli, Jimmy Jarrett, Nathan Kanney and Kyle Summers; and a four-man Junior Trophy Team made up of Cody Schafer, Ian Blythe, Cory Buttrick, and Andrew DeLong. The US Women’s Cup Team consists of Nicole Bradford, Amanda Mastin and Kerrie Swartz.
By most accounts, this year’s event is one of the toughest in decades as off-and-on rain showers have left the rocky and sandy course in treacherous conditions, with plenty of slippery roots and blown-out trail. Leading the way for the Red, White, and Blue is factory KTM rider Kurt Caselli, who leads the E2 class after Day Two. Caselli also sits fourth in overall standings. In the team standings, after two days the U.S. Trophy Team sits third behind host country Finland, and Spain. The U.S. Junior team is fifth behind Sweden, France, Great Britain, and Australia. Meanwhile, the Women’s team has experienced the worst of luck in, with all three ladies having retired due to mechanical problems by the end of the second day.
Current National Enduro points leader and three-time series champ Russell Bobbitt got into the groove on Day Two, finishing fifth in the E2 division, which moved the factory KTM into sixth in E2 standings and helped the U.S. Trophy Team advance from fourth overall after Monday to third after Tuesday’s competition. No doubt, the slippery trail is playing into the Georgia rider’s hand. In the E3 division, Nate Kanney is top American in eighth position, while U.S. Honda rider Colton Udall is 31st in E1.