ISDE DAY 2: U.S. WOMEN STILL ON TOP
Day Two of the 96th ISDE is now in the books. The U.S. Trophy Team now sits in fifth overall, but it has only just begun. The quartet of Kailub Russell, Date Oliveira, Michael Layne and Josh Toth are only three minutes off the lead and just a few seconds behind the host team of France. Anything can happen, but it’s already looking like it will be a tall order to cat the British team. Steve Holcombe, Jonathan Watson, Jed Etchells and Jamie McCanney combine to make a formidable team. In the overall rankings, Watson and Holcombe are both in the top four riders. The fastest man so far is Josep Garcia of Spain, who is leading his team to third place behind the Brits and the defending champions from Italy. The fastest of the Americans has been Dante Oliveira, who sits in sixth overall.
The American women continue to be the cream of the class. Brandy Richards has been untouchable, and stands within the top 90 riders overall. Korie Steede and Rachel Gutish are also riding extremely, sitting second and sixth in class, respectively.
Without Cody Barnes, the U.S. Jr World team is crippled, but both Auston Walton and Mateo Oliveira are riding for individual glory. Mateo is 10th in the E1 class and Walton is 13th in the brutal E2 class.
It was another warm day in France, although some rain fell later in the day (once the Trophy racers were back in the paddocks. The tests and transfers were dusty, dry and rutted. Several air filters were also changed at TCs and EOD. They looked FILTHY!
Josh Toth: “Today was a so-so day, I was kind of stuck in the silt and dust all day so hopefully tomorrow is a better day with some rain and new tests.
“This is a tough one (compared to past ISDEs), honestly with the transfers the way they are and the long days, the technical trails are another level. It’s fun!”
Team Manager Antti Kallonen: “I think there will be five countries within 30 seconds, and we were right there, we finished 6 seconds off. This new rule is really good, where all scores count it really makes it professional. With a professional World Championship we shouldn’t have any throw-aways or like where the fourth score doesn’t count, so I like the format. It makes the racing really even. At the moment I think Spain has Josep riding really well and then they have one slower rider so it evens out the score. We actually have a pretty even team, so hopefully that consistency also means that at the end we can fight for the championship.
“Today was tough, I’m not going to lie about that. Our guys were a little bit off, we need to reevaluate what we did and what we need to do now heading into day three. The UK was very strong today, they beat all the countries, were the fastest and took the lead by a minute and half now. It was expected that they would be out front but they definitely turned the lead on today. I think they were right there with us yesterday, so we have the nighttime to think about it and get the right mindset going. We prepared for this and it’s time to execute, so we just got to get back on track and get the riders the confidence that they can ride to their best abilities. Tomorrow is a new track, we were good on day One. Now that the guys are warmed up to the format I think with the fresh track and rain, I have high hopes tomorrow that we can regroup and have a better day.”