By Mark Kariya

There was both good and bad for the U.S. team at the 95th FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) in Rivanazzano Terme, Italy, as the iconic race completed its third day. Now halfway through, home team and host Italy appears to be more and more likely to claim both the FIM World Trophy (WT) and Junior World Trophy (JWT) thanks to a full lineup of riders who each are performing well in each class. After three days of racing six special tests per day, Andrea Verona leads E1 by 44.53 seconds over Mikael Persson of Sweden. In E3, Matteo Cavallo heads the big-bore racers by 14.21 seconds over fellow Italian Mateo Pavoni who’s on Italy’s JWT squad. Only in E2 does an Italian not lead; Thomas Oldrati is third behind overall individual leader Josep Garcia of Spain and America’s Taylor Robert.

For a Six Days newbie, U.S. World Trophy team member Johnny Girroir is adapting quickly and finds himself sixth in E1 after three days. The team remains third but realistically appears to have a chance of catching only second-place Spain right now.

Things look non-Italian in Women’s World Trophy, however, as the U.S. trio of Britney Gallegos, Rachel Gutish and Brandy Richards stretched their lead over Great Britain, the margin now a sizable eight minutes, 46.50 seconds. Spain lies third, nearly two minutes further back. Among the 163 Club teams, Sweden’s Team Ostra Enduro 1 assumed command with Moto Club Sebino second and GTBN of the U.S. third. In fact, U.S. Club teams comprise a good percentage of the top 10 Club teams.
“Italy is tough,” U.S. Trophy Team Manager Antti Kallonen observed when asked about the U.S. WT team’s efforts thus far. “They’re leading and pulling away. At this point, we focus on doing our thing while we can. Midway through the week, there’s no major changes you can do [to improve]. We’ve just got to stay motivated and have the right mindset for the second half that we don’t give up and we’ll fight until the end and we’ll see.”
Things were slightly better for American interests in JWT where Italy beat the U.S. by one minute, 20.97 seconds. While Cody Barnes, Dante Oliveira and Austin Walton continued to post competitive times in each test, the Italians generally went one better. The gap between the two now stands at 3:09.77 after three days. “We just need to keep chipping away and hope that we can push those guys to either make a mistake or we can just knock them right off no matter what, straight up,”
Walton declared.

Despite some pre-race turmoil, Rachel Gutish made things happen and ended up in Italy as planned but on a privateer Husky that she’s taken to fourth among the women after three days. Team-wise, however, she, Britney Gallegos and the dominating Brandy Richards stretched their Women’s World Trophy lead.

Of the U.S. women, Kallonen said, “It’s great to see them doing so well and pulling away every day more and more. Brandy Richards is carrying the team well.” Six Days veteran Gutish is also doing well in her return; she’s fourth best in the field after three days with Gallegos a bit frustrated that her desert speed hasn’t translated as well as hoped into the enduro realm where she’s currently 17th among all women.
As for the Clubs, GTBN continued to get a boost from ISDE rookie Cole Martinez who’s fifth among all Club riders after three days. Teammates Nate Ferderer and Axel Pearson continued to back him up with Ferderer 20th and Pearson 25th, unofficially. However, at nearly two minutes behind MC Sebino, they’ll need some luck to move up in the standings. Not far behind is the current fifth-place NGPC/D37NHHA (Preston Campbell, Tyler Vore and Tanner Whipple) trio; they were eighth yesterday. Mojo MotoSport (Anthony Ferrante, Josh Knight and Anson Maloney) is another U.S. Club team that moved up, going from seventh to sixth, while Trail Pros/U.S. Sprint Enduro (Cade Henderson, Travis Reynaud and Talon Soenksen) vaulted from ninth to seventh.
Eric Cleveland Memorial (Fred Hoess, Nick Swenson and Joel Tonsgard) round out the top 10.

Cody Barnes is another new face at Six Days, but the youngster is a quick learner and is seventh in E1 after three days—only one spot behind Girroir—while the U.S. Junior World Trophy team remains second.

Elizabeth Scott Community (John Beal, Jayson Densley and Brian Storrie) maintains 29th while the Missouri Mudders (Reid Brown, Kobee Knight and A.J. Lehr) slipped one spot and find themselves 31st among the 163 teams entered.
Day four will see a new loop that at 198 kilometers is three kilometers longer than the one used for the first three days. Competitors will run it just once in the counter-clockwise direction (the loop was clockwise for the first three days) and hit six special tests—three cross tests and three enduro tests—though the final two tests will be repeats of cross test one and enduro test two. Again, riders will be on course for about seven and a half hours.

For a list of complete results, please visit https://fim-isde.com/2021-results/.

For extended coverage of the 2021 ISDE, click here.

World Trophy Classification (After Day 3 of 6)
1. Italy, 7:10:17.19
2. Spain, +3:20.71
3. USA, +5:08.59
4. Sweden, +6:52.49
5. France, +7:01.44

Junior World Trophy Classification (After Day 3 of 6)
1. Italy, 7:18:04.71
2. USA, +3:09.98
3. France, +5:08.72
4. Sweden, +6:17.41
5. Spain, +10:29.71

Women’s World Trophy Classification (After Day 3 of 6)
1. USA, 5:29:04.00
2. Great Britain, +8:46.50
3. Spain, +10:02.58
4. Portugal, +19:38.32
5. France, +21:10.35

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