By Mark Kariya

The last half of the 95th FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) began this morning with few surprises. Italy continued to head both the FIM World Trophy (WT) and Junior World Trophy (JWT) while the U.S. extended its lead in Women’s World Trophy (WWT). After trailing Josep Garcia of Spain, Italy’s Andrea Verona finally had all things go his way and he beat his Spanish counterpart by just 2.89 seconds. Interestingly, Verona rides a 250F in E1 and Garcia relies on a 350. Swedish WT rider Mikael Persson is second in E1 behind Verona and third overall individually.

Ryan Sipes (center) and U.S. Trophy Team Manager Antti Kallonen (right) take a quick look at test times. After making some changes to his bike, Sipes pronounced himself pleased and it showed as he ended the day a strong fifth in E3.

We caught up with Ryan Sipes of the U.S. WT team that remains entrenched in third place behind Italy and Spain. He noted, “Day four was a lot better. I rode a lot more like myself and I was able to, I think, get 15th or 16th overall, which is not where I used to be (he won overall individual honors in his debut in 2015, the first American to overall Six Days), but I don’t train for this stuff any more so the way I rode today, [it’s] still not my absolute best—eight out of 10—but I was hanging in there. I had some decent test times and we made a lot of changes on the bike today which I’m happy with, just being proactive with it.” Teammates Johnny Girroir, Layne Michael and Taylor Robert appeared to have similar experiences, Girroir ending the day seventh-fastest E1. Michael and Robert found significant improvements over the first half of the week with Michael ending the day third-fastest in E2 behind Garcia and Robert. Italy’s lead over Spain after four days is five minutes and 1.32 seconds, the U.S. lying third, 7:01.60 behind Italy.

The queen of this castle, Brandy Richards ended the day with a sliced right forearm that needed stitches after one big crash early in the day. Somehow, she still managed to win all five tests and help the U.S. Women’s World Trophy team extend its lead over Great Britain to 11:34.65 while Spain sits third, 13:31.21 back.

In JWT, however, things took a turn for the worse when Austin Walton had a big crash that left him with a reported broken scapula. Though he managed to complete the day, after getting medical attention he accepted the fact that his week was over prematurely.
That, of course, is a shame, especially since Walton’s remaining teammates Cody Barnes and Dante Oliveira enjoyed excellent days. Oliveira ended up fourth in E2, one behind Michael and the first of the JWT riders. Oliveira declared, “I rode strong and felt good right away. All in all it was a good day. I didn’t fall so I’m stoked with that and we’re getting a little closer to the end of this [race].” Since Walton completed the course—albeit late—he was awarded an official though slow finish. However, don’t expect to see him line up in the morning unless a minor miracle takes place. Italy’s lead over France is 6:26.31 with Sweden fourth, 8:33.04 behind the leader. The U.S. occupies fourth, 15:26.37 behind Italy.

You don’t see many special tests in a vineyard! Somehow, the organizers got permission to run cross test four in and around this vineyard. Andrea Verona broke it in nicely and went on to become the day’s individual winner, helping keep Italy ahead in World Trophy. The U.S. remains a fairly distant third.

The way the U.S. Women’s World Trophy team is going, it’s all but assured of taking home the trophy thanks in large part to Brandy Richards who again won all of the day’s special tests. (Organizers threw out one test leaving five to count for scores.)
“I started out super-strong in the first two tests and in the third enduro test I had a pretty good get-off but still managed a good time (beating Great Britain’s Jane Daniels by a minute and 53.83 seconds),” Richards noted. “After that, I was a little sore, but I just kind of kept moving forward and stayed consistent. I had a great time in the last two tests—they were super-fun!” Officially, the U.S. leads Great Britain by an astounding 11 minutes and 34.65 seconds after 198 kilometers of racing on day four. Spain lies third, 13:31.21 behind the Americans.

Yesterday, Team Ostra Enduro 1 of Sweden led the Club team standings over Moto Club Sebino.
Today, the Italians turned the table on the Swedes and ended up on top, 1:16.64 ahead while GTBN of the U.S. with riders Nate Ferderer, Cole Martinez and Axel Pearson finished the day still third, 4:00.99 back of Italy.
A little over four minutes behind GBTN is NGPC/D37/NHHA (Preston Campbell, Tyler Vore and Tanner Whipple) which sits fifth still followed again by Mojo MotoSport (Anthony Ferrante, Josh Knight and Anson Maloney) while Trail Pros/U.S. Sprint Enduro (Cade Henderson, Travis Reynaud and Talon Soenksen) drop a spot to eighth. Eric Cleveland Memorial (Fred Hoess, Nick Swenson and Joel Tonsgard) again rounds out the top 10 Clubs.
Elizabeth Scott Community (John Beal, Jayson Densley and Brian Storrie) stepped up two positions to 27th with the Missouri Mudders (Reid Brown, Kobee Knight and A.J. Lehr) still 31st out of 163.

For extended coverage of the 2021 ISDE, click here.

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

World Trophy Classification (After Day 4 of 6)
1. Italy, 9:50:38.35
2. Spain, +5:01.43
3. USA, +7:01.60
4. Sweden, +9:30.49
5. France, +10:15.75
Junior World Trophy Classification (After Day 4 of 6)
1. Italy, 10:00:51.00
2. France, +6:26.31
3. Sweden, +8:33.04
4. USA, +15:26.27
5. Chile, +38:48.49
Women’s World Trophy Classification (After Day 4 of 6)
1. USA, 7:25:34.17
2. Great Britain, +11:34.65
3. Spain, +13:31.21
4. Portugal, +25:45.96
5. France, +27:30.01

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