French Start Fast at ISDE Day One - News - Team USA 13th - Dirt Rider Magazine

The 80th annual Maxxis International Six Days Enduro appears to be designed with the old days of the sport in mind. In other words, the race in Povazska Bystrica, Slovakia, promises to be a tough event with an emphasis on endurance.But speed in the all-important special tests will still determine this contest, and in that department, the World Trophy team from France took the early lead over Italy and Finland with Team USA's six-man World Trophy team's 13th place an indication of just how fast the riders from other countries are. In the race for the Junior World Trophy, the Italians led over France and Finland while the U.S. quartet of riders under the age of 24 ended the day in 10th position. And in the three-man Club team competition, a Czech trio led over an Italian one (comprised of just-past-their-prime heroes Stefano Passeri, Mario Rinaldi and Giovanni Sala) and Wales A of Great Britain.The best U.S. Club turned out to be the one sponsored by the New Jersey Ridge Riders with Brian Barnes, Luke McNeil and Wes McKnight sitting in 24th place. That was three better than the threesome of Scott Bright, Dylan Debel and Daniel Janus. Donald Murray, Rick Thomas and Lars Valin of the Missouri Mudders were the next fastest American Club team in 30th place.Australia's Stefan Merriman posted the best test times overall to earn unofficial honors as fastest individual rider.The Americans in general seemed to suffer from opening day jitters, more than a few admitting they felt tight or nervous at first before loosening up and getting into the flow of things. As Kurt Caselli said after starting off the week a disappointing 17th in the E2 (250cc two-strokes and 450cc four-strokes) said, "I always have this problem. I think I just suck on the first day of every Six Days and World Enduro , but I was riding a little too cautiously at the beginning of the day just because it was real slick and I didn't want to crash--and I ended up crashing anyway."As the fastest of the Americans in the past few Six Days and with two World Enduro Championship rounds under his belt this summer, he perhaps felt a bit more pressure than he was willing to admit, though outwardly he handled gracefully.If the course for Day One was any indication, this will be a very rugged enduro, a throwback to the days when organizers were able to use plenty of trails through a country's forests. In fact, it seemed to be at least 95 percent trail, according to most riders, and it kept them on their toes nearly the whole day instead of just during the day's five timed tests."At least, compared to last year, it's way better," Trophy team member and Six Days veteran Fred Hoess said. "It's almost all trail; there really isn't any road. It's all , which is awesome. There's mud, you've got a little bit of dust so you can make everybody happy. There's great downhills--tough, rocky, muddy. You've got some whooped-out little roads. It's nice. You've got to think the whole time, and the tests are tough; they're good tests." He ended the day with the fastest American performance in the E1 class (125cc two-strokes and 250cc four-strokes) with his 29th place.California desert racer Quinn Cody adapted well to his first ISDE day; he finished with times putting him in 29th in E3 (over 250cc two-strokes and over 500cc four-strokes), just ahead of Trophy team racer Aaron Kopp. Cody loved every minute of it, babbling on and on about how gnarly yet fun the trails were, especially with spectators lining seemingly every kilometer of the course. "They were waving at you all the time and cheering," he remembered. "If you did a wheelie, they went nuts."Team USA suffered only one casualty with Club rider Mark Johnson forced out after separating his shoulder twice--and he did it without falling. Run on the "B" schedule, few riders lost time on the trail. That could change after Day Two, which will run the same course 40 minutes faster.Standings after Day 1World Trophy
1. France
2. Italy
3. Finland
4. Sweden
5. Australia
6. Great Britain
7. Portugal
8. Czech Republic
9. Poland
10. Netherlands
11. Slovakia
12. Belgium
13. USA
14. Germany
15. Greece
16. Hungary
17. Canada
18. VenezuelaJunior World Trophy
1. Italy
2. France
3. Finland
4. Sweden
5. Great Britain
6. Netherlands
7. Portugal
8. Australia
9. Slovakia
10. USA
11. Czech Republic
12. VenezuelaClass E1
1. Marc Germain/France
2. Raphael Andre/France
3. Simone Albergoni/Italy
29. Fred Hoess/USA
52. Wally Palmer/USA
60. Luke McNeil/USAClass E2
1. Stephan Merriman/Australia
2. Emmanuel Albepart/France
3. Samuli Aro/Finland
17. Kurt Caselli/USA
26. Jimmy Jarrett/USA
56. John Barber/USAClass E3
1. David Knight/Great Britain
2. Sebastien Guillaume/France
3. Marko Tarkkala/Finland
29. Quinn Cody/USA
30. Aaron Copp/USA
32. Jason Dahners/USAClub
1. Motoklub Jiretin--Pfanner/Czech Republic
2. Motoclub Lumezzane/Italy
3. Wales A Team/Great Britain
24. New Jersey Ridge Riders/USA (Luke McNeil, Wes McKnight, Brian Barnes)
27. (Dylan Debel, Scott Bright, Daniel Janus)
30. Missouri Mudders/USA (Lars Valin, Rick Thomas, Donald Murray)