2022 ISDE DAY 3: U.S. TEAM CREEPS HIGHER
STORY AND PHOTOS BY MARY RINELL
The 96th ISDE has tightened up after Day Three in Le Puy en Velay, France. Even though the U.S. Trophy Team still sits in fifth, they are only 0.03 seconds behind fourth place France and 5:32 behind the overall leader. Up front, first-place Great Britain increased its gap today. Italy and Spain are in second and third.
Early on during test two today, overall leader Josep Garcia of Spain clipped a tree and ripped his arm clean open. Josep finished the test with yet another win, and went on to TC where he met with a team doctor. Having no time for anesthesia, the doctor used staples to close the wound and Josep continued his day. Mary Rinell caught up with him in the paddocks and managed to get a quick interview and snap a couple frames of his injury, which looked pretty painful to say the least. All eyes will be on Josep to see if this impacts his performance for the remainder of the Six Days.
As for the U.S. Trophy riders, Dante Oliveira is in 7th overall, but is still leading the Americans. He had a bad get-off in test one and again in three, but turned in excellent lap times in tests two and five, evening out his score for the day. The rest of the Trophy riders are still searching to find their balance in the unforgiving French terrain. After the day was done, Kailub Russell was walking a test and casually went to move a rock with the wrong leg.. “I went out to walk a test and kicked a rock and my knee popped and swelled up. So I went to see the doc, and he drained another 20-21cc’s of blood. Whatever it takes.”
America’s Women’s team remains at the top of the leaderboard, steadily adding to their lead over Team GB each day. They are now more than 11 minutes ahead, with Brandy Richards continuing to lead the charge as an untouchable force. She finished the day at an impressive 40’56.90 time, nearly 2 minutes faster than second place Jane Daniels (GB). Newcomer Korie Steede is third, only 4 seconds behind Jane. Third U.S. teammate Rachel Gutish finds herself in 7th, which isn’t bad considering the three women are all within less than 3 minutes of each other.
“I had a lot more fun today,” said Rachel. “I find that the general rule of thumb is when I’m having more fun I tend to perform better. I think for me, getting on fresh dirt is helpful. We also made some suspension adjustments this morning that I think went a long way towards my overall comfort. All of the tests were a lot more my speed, they were a little gnarlier, a little tighter. As a whole the team is sitting more than 10 min ahead which is great going into Day Four!”
Unfortunately U.S. Club member racer Shane Siebenthall suffered a crash during a transfer between stages 2 and 3, giving him a concussion and breaking his collarbone. This removes Team Mojo Motorsport from the running. Also out is Josh Chassaing, who fell ill on Day Two with a virus.
On the other-hand, Team XC Gear is looking extremely strong, with racer Craig Delong sitting in 4th OA, and Kai Aiello backing him up with a solid 10th. The third rider Tyler Vore is in 23rd. The team as a whole is sitting in third in the club competition.