The U.S. World Trophy (WT) team might be the defending champions, but it’s going to be a supreme test to beat Italy’s quartet on home turf as the 95th FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) got underway today. As veteran Taylor Robert of the American team noted, “We all kind of made little mistakes here and there throughout the day so just minimize that stuff and now we’ve just got to start chipping away at those Italians.
“Honestly, like I said, everybody’s still healthy and everybody’s still motivated so I think [today] just made everybody more hungry. Now they want to do better.”
It’ll be tough. At the end of today’s six special tests over the span of seven and a half hours, Robert found himself second in the E2 class behind overall individual leader Josep Garcia of Spain, which is second in WT. (Italy’s Andrea Verona led most of the day but fell twice in the final test, surrendering that lead to Garcia.)
Ryan Sipes, another Six Days veteran and the first American to claim overall individual honors (which he did in 2015), showed his versatility by posting the third-fastest time in E3 while Layne Michael (also on that 2015 team) did a fine job with his fifth in E2.
Then there was Johnny Girroir who had many eyes on him as he started on the front row in his ISDE debut. “I definitely learned a lot today,” he said. “[I was] just coming into it a little nervous, a little cautious—a little too cautious—and I feel like I got a lot of the bugs worked out and I feel like I’m going to ride a lot better tomorrow. Things started clicking towards the end of the day.” Girroir finished the first day of his first Six Days fifth in E1.
In the Junior World Trophy (JWT) fight, Italy’s Juniors matched the success of their senior teammates by leading the category, with France second and the U.S. third. Dante Oliveira and Austin Walton’s speed and experience from the 2019 ISDE where they were on the winning Club team shined through with Oliveira sixth in E2, Walton 10th. Freshman member Cody Barnes managed sixth in E1 despite breaking his rear brake in the last test. “I just wanted to ride smooth. I only had one crash,” Barnes reported. But after breaking the rear brake, he admitted, “It was just hectic, especially for my first time going into the pits [at the end of the day with the rules and all].”
The really bright spot for the U.S. effort turned out to be the Women’s World Trophy (WWT) team comprised of first-timer Britney Gallegos, Rachel Gutish and Brandy Richards, the sole returning member of the winning 2019 squad.
Richards turned out to be the standout—not only among the Americans but among the entire WWT community as she dominated the day, though that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s followed her results over the past few years in the Rocky Mountain ATV-MC WORCS tour. Richards’ total test times not only made her the fastest woman of the day, they placed her 84th out of nearly 650 mostly male riders!
Gutish was third-fastest woman behind Richards and Great Britain’s Jane Daniel with Gallegos a cautious 13th in her ISDE debut.
No Club results were available at press time.
For a list of complete results, please visit https://fim-isde.com/2021-results/.
World Trophy Classification (After Day 1 of 6)
1. Italy, 2:27:24.71