Story and Photos by Shan Moore
Team USA got off to its best start in years at the 88th running of the International Six Days Enduro in Sardinia, Italy, where the US World Trophy Team sits second overall after one day of action, and the US Junior Trophy Team sits third. The defending champions, Team France, leads after the World Trophy standings after the opening day, with the U.S. World Trophy squad coming on strong at the end of the day to finish second ahead of the Australians with one day of racing in the books.
Today’s course was dry, fast and dusty, but that didn’t stop some impressive individual efforts by the American teams.
Six-hundred-and-twenty-seven riders from thirty-six different nations took to today’s course, and at the end of the first five days of competition the riders who finish will have competed approximately 750 miles of special tests and transfer trail before wrapping up the event with the traditional motocross test on Saturday.
Taylor Robert ended today’s competition in sixth overall individually and sixth in the E2 class, to help lead Team USA to second overall in the team standings after the first day of racing. Before his race even got underway, Robert had to change his out rear shock during the morning 10-minute work period, replacing the stock unit with his race shock due to the fact that TSA wouldn’t let him bring his factory suspension on the plane with him and when it didn’t arrive in time for impound, Robert was forced to impound his bike with the stock suspension. Robert was able to change out the forks at the first technical check of the day. Robert got faster as the day progressed and the tests got rougher, and he ended up winning the final test of the day, moving him up into sixth.
Zach Osborne turning an admirable performance in his ISDE debut, finishing the day in 17th overall and fourth in the E1 division. The AMSOIL/Factory Connection Honda ride also was the fastest E1 rider in the fifth test. “I was a little nervous at the start but I got the hang of it pretty quickly,” said Osborne. “I was one of the first riders out so there were no ruts on the first lap, but on the second lap I was able to kind of see what was going on and I was able to really pick up the pace.”
FMF/KTM’s Mike Brown had a steady day, finishing fifth-fastest in the opening test and then signing off with the eighth-fastest time in the next to last test.
Kailub Russell has been on a roll in GNCC competition and he brought that momentum with him to Italy, where he finished up his first-ever day of ISDE racing with the best individual score among all of the Junior riders. After Day One, the FMF/KTM rider sits atop the Junior Trophy individual standings. Russell and his US teammates, Jesse Groemm, Andrew DeLong and Grant Baylor was currently third in the Junior Trophy standings behind France and Italy.
Day One Unofficial Results
World Trophy Team
6. Great Britain
4. Great Britain
9. Czech Republic