Destry’s ISDE race story (Morelia, Mexico) Nov 1-6, 2010


Day 1:

Each day we would be riding around 150-miles (except for day 6 which is short and just a final mx race). The first two days would be on the same course and it was around 75-miles (which we would do twice). We had nine tests that we would do every day too, which would determine your finish as long as you were staying on the time schedule and making the checks on time. Day one went pretty well, but I was actually surprised at how rough the transfer sections were between tests. Luckily I had a lot of time at each check so I didn’t have to worry about riding too hard and wasting a lot of energy. All my tests scores were pretty decent, besides one that I went down on. The tests were really hard packed and slippery. It was all about carrying speed and it wasn’t about having a fast bike. By the time I got off the bike I had about 8-hours of riding under my belt and was pretty beat. The first day I finished 15th in the E2 class, but knew I should’ve been higher.


Day 2:

Today we were riding the same course we did yesterday, and I knew it was going to be even tougher. They put us on the “A” schedule so we weren’t going to have as much time at each check. My tests went a lot better today and I kept it on two wheels. The trails were pretty beat! The fact that the terrain was super rocky and hard-packed really starts to take a toll on your wrists, shoulders, back, legs, hand, etc. (pretty much everything)! Today was a lot better for me and I moved up to 11th overall in the E2 class.


Day 3:

We had a new course today, and from what everyone was saying day 3 and 4 were going to be the toughest. Boy were they right! I thought day 1 and 2 had tough sections but I was really surprised by some of the trails we were going over. There were times I was in first gear for miles with pretty much two fingers on the clutch the whole time. I’ve never raced Erzberg before, but they had two technical sections (that we had to do twice) where my heart rate was super high. I kept it on two wheels during the tests, and had some really good time (two top 5’s) and then the other ones weren’t so good. One of the tests, called the Pepsi test, really kicked my butt! Since this test was used 3 times a day, every day, it was pretty beat. I just kept losing too much time in it and couldn’t figure out what to do to go faster. I did have a couple falls on the trail (one where the chain came off in one of the rocky sections). The last two days were pretty cool, since Taylor Robert and I got to ride together. I moved back two spots in my class and now I’m sitting 13th.


Day 4:

This is usually the toughest day of the ISDE, since most of us are mentally and physically beat. We all knew we were going to be riding the day three course again, so I needed to make sure I was sharp. You could really ruin your race if you make a dumb mistake on the trails or in the test sections. It was actually a pretty uneventful day for me and I just seemed to lose some of my aggression in the tests. They got so slippery and sketchy! I had a few close calls, and decided to just ride smooth. I ended up losing more time not pushing it in the tests, but still road solid enough to finish 13th again. Lucky number 13 for me so far! Tomorrow is on a new course, and I hear it’s one of the best riding days which will be a nice sight to see.


Day 5:

They were right! This was the best day of riding we’ve done. We went through some really cool ravines and trails that weren’t so beat up. They also had some better dirt up in the mountains that was pretty soft. As far as the tests went, it was a lot like yesterday. I had some top 10 times, but nothing really special. It was actually pretty uneventful and I’m still sitting 13th in class after the day.


Day 6:

Just before I was leaving the hotel, I heard news that they had cancelled the last day. I heard a lot of rumors that there were security issues. The drug cartel was wrecking havoc on some businesses (one blowing up a gas station next to the final moto) in retaliation for the Federalies arresting a couple of their guys the day before. It was a weird feeling, since I’ve never seen anything like this. Luckily the whole time we were down there, it was good until the last day. It was definitely the best decision for the promoters to call it off for all of our safety!


Overall Summary:

I ended up with another Gold medal, so it was a pretty good IFDE (International Five Day Enduro). I’m leaving here healthy and I finished 13th in the really competitive E2 class (I would’ve been in the top 10 in any other class). I had no issues with my KX450 the whole time, which was really nice. It was actually a pretty smooth race, but I just wasn’t too pumped on my finish since last year I was 9th in Portugal. The last two days I didn’t ride on the edge as much, since we were so far behind Finland and the only way we were going to catch them is if they had some trouble. Our main goal for the US Trophy team was to get back on the podium. Unfortunately we came up one spot short and finished with a solid fourth.


Other Notes:

Team France won the big ISDE trophy with Italy second, Finland third, and us fourth. Team France was pretty incredible and I don’t care who we sent; they killed it! The overall individual was Johnny Aubert, who was insanely faster then everyone. I’ve never seen someone dominate an ISDE like that.


Our Junior team finished an awesome third, while our Women’s team did one better and pulled off a second. I think the Junior team would’ve had a great shot at second, but they lost Cory Buttrick at the end of day one from a crash.


The next ISDE will be in Finland (early August), so I know Kurt Caselli (who was our top American this year) and I will be talking here soon to figure out what team will have the best shot at getting back on the podium. It’s going to come up fast!


I know we finished 4th for the Trophy team, but I was happy with all the riders putting in the effort they did. Mike Brown did and awesome job in his first ISDE and I believe he finished 6th in the E1 class. Then we had Taylor Robert in the junior class who really picked it up after the first couple days, and really started to move up in the E2 class (finished 10th E2, third American). I knew he had the speed, but just needed to figure that type of racing out. I would say Ian Blyth was the biggest surprise to me. He really put in a solid ride all week and did exactly what he had to and finished 7th in the E1 class.


All of us American’s need to give a huge thanks to everyone that came down to support us in the pits and in the tests! This is really a hard event to do and we definitely needed all the help we received.


I also need to give a huge thanks to my Dad and Bret Leaf for flying down there to help me out. Jonny also built me a solid bike that gave me no problems all week (but wasn’t able to make the trip). We also had three Doctors there that were a huge help for us after each day (Dr. McGee, Dr. Monti Sorem, and Spook). One of my fellow competitors at home, and good friend, David Kamo really was huge to us with pointing out lines and helping out with whatever he could. It helps to have another professional racer there knowing what we need and expect. Then we had Donna and Michelle Macan help bring all these guys down here by raising the money through the Rich Caselli fund (which is a great cause).


Thor and Parts Unlimited really stepped up and made special team USA gear for the trophy and Junior Trophy team. They’re a great group of guys and are really behind our sport! You definitely need to support them!


As far as next year for me I’m really not sure what team we’re going to put together, but we’ll make sure we put together a team that will give the USA its best shot. I hear Finland is going to be sandy and rocky, so we’ll have to figure out the best riders for that type of terrain! I know we have some riders in mind.


My next race is here in less than two week. I’ll be racing the final Endurocross race in Vegas, which should be awesome (it always is)! I haven’t ridden EX in a while so I better start practicing! More seat time!


I was posting all my updates, pictures and video links on my Facebook page while I was down there. I want to thank everyone for posting positive comments that kept me plugging away. You can check out more ISDE stuff here


I do still have a ton of my ISDE t-shirts for sale that I had made to help fund my trip down there. Thanks to everyone that supported me at my fundraiser and also by buying t-shirts. Here’s a link if you didn’t pick one up (my sales were pretty low this year)

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