By Mark Kariya
Italy won both the FIM World Trophy (WT) and Junior World Trophy (JWT) while the U.S. successfully defended its Women’s World Trophy (WWT) as the 95th FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) came to a close at the Crossodromo Valle Scrivia less than an hour from the paddock in Rivanazzano Terme, Italy. With a brief road ride to the dedicated motocross facility, the primary focus for most competitors was switching gears from enduro to a motocross-style sprint against others, not just the clock.
The E1 races got things underway for the elite Trophy racers and Swedish WT rider Mikael Persson broke out from the shadow of class leader Andrea Verona of Italy to win the seven-lap sprint in 14 minutes, 13.91 seconds, American rookie Johnny Girroir the moto runner-up less than two seconds behind. Italian Davide Guarneri was a further 10 seconds behind for third-best E1 time of the day. Verona rode to a safe fourth, easily wrapping up the best overall E1 time for the week, while U.S. JWT rider Cody Barnes finished the moto seventh.
Girroir said, “My final moto was good. I’m disappointed I crashed. I had a bad start, recovered well, came back, got up to third, crashed, went back to fifth, charged really hard and actually caught [back up to Persson] and pushed him to the finish line. I wish I had a couple more laps out there; the moto was short, but that’s racing and I really enjoyed it. I hope to come back and get the W next year.” In E2, U.S. JWT rider Dante Oliveira seemingly came out of nowhere to make multiple passes in one lap and seize first place by three seconds over Spain’s Josep Garcia—the eventual E2 winner for the week as well as fastest overall individual—and Canadian motocrosser Tyler Medaglia. U.S. WT rider Layne Michael came out of the moto in fifth while a crash had teammate Taylor Robert playing catchup to finish ninth in the moto. The E3 moto saw U.S. WT rider Ryan Sipes hound Juame Betriu the entire way, but the Spaniard never faltered and forced Sipes to settle for the runner-up spot, less than two seconds behind. Italy’s Matteo Cavallo finished the moto third, almost 12 seconds in arrears.
For the team standings, nothing changed at the top with Italy the fastest in both WT and JWT. Spain claimed runner-up honors in WT some four minutes, 41.46 seconds behind with the U.S. squad (Giorroir, Michael, Robert and Sipes) accepting third place. Italy’s margin over second-place France was even greater at 8:31.21, Sweden third for the week. The U.S. (Barnes, Oliveira and Austin Walton), of course, lost Walton to injury at midweek, dropping them from second to 11th of the 14 countries entered.
As she had all week, Brandy Richards dominated the WWT moto. (For some reason, organizers kept the women’s moto to four laps so their total times can’t really be compared to the men’s races.) In keeping with her performances in every single previous test during the week, she shot to the front immediately and was never challenged, completing the four laps nearly 20 seconds ahead of Spanish star Mireia Badia while American Rachel Gutish turned in the best final moto of her five ISDEs to finish third. Britney Gallegos enjoyed her best test of the week, the desert racer relishing the prepped, watered track to finish eighth. That moved her up two spots to 15th in the final women’s-class overall. “I couldn’t have asked for a better week, especially ending the final moto with a holeshot and a win,” Richards declared. (She also holeshot and won the final moto in Portugal.) In doing so, Richards may have made history as it’s thought to be the first time—at least in the modern era—that a rider has won every test, every day. “I would say I was a lot more physically prepared [for this, my fourth Six Days] which helps mentally and everything,” she explained. “It honestly made Six Days a breeze and I never thought Six Days could be easy!” in the team standings, the U.S. outdistanced runner-up Great Britain by just over 15 minutes while Spain claimed the final podium spot, 15 minutes and 55.45 seconds adrift of the American standard.
While positions generally don’t change after day five at Six Days, the U.S. Club team GBTN (Good Team, Bad Name with riders Nate Ferderer, Cole Martinez and Axel Pearson) slipped off the podium by about seven seconds to finish fourth despite Martinez being the sole American to take a moto win. “That was pretty awesome,” he said. “I got off to a good jump [out of the gate] and pretty much took the reins from there.” Reflecting on his first Six Days experience, he added, “I had a few tough days—I think I crashed [on] three different days—so that cost me for the [individual Club rider] overall. “All in all it was a great week. Really, we should all be proud of ourselves.”
Mojo MotoSport (Anthony Ferrante, Josh Knight and Anson Maloney) finished fifth, nearly 15 minutes off GTBN with Trail Pros/U.S. Sprint Enduro (Cade Henderson, Travis Reynaud and Talon Soenksen) holding onto seventh. Likewise, Eric Cleveland Memorial (Fred Hoess, Nick Swenson and Joel Tonsgard) kept its grip on 10th for the week. Elizabeth Scott Community (John Beal, Jayson Densley and Brian Storrie) also held position to finish in 26th while the Missouri Mudders (Reid Brown, Kobee Knight and A.J. Lehr) moved up one, improving to claim 29th out of 163 teams at week’s end.
Next year, the 96th ISDE will visit France.
For a list of complete results from the 2021 International Six Days Enduro, please visit https://fim-isde.com/2021-results/.
Results – FIM International Six Days Enduro 2021
1. Italy, 12:55:23.02