Day One:
Greetings from here in Granada, Spain. This is what happened today on Day One of the ISDE event. I?m a 125 and we got to start right after the Trophy Teams took off and then they released the 250?s and the 4-Strokes. Today when we started, it had been raining all night, we immediately went straight into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. With the rain on the goggles and the slippery conditions, it was really difficult getting to the first check.

It got worse getting to the second check.

They threw all the riders up this two or three mile long hill that was lava rock covered with mud. I was the last 125 to get to the hill, and when I got there, almost all the 125?s were stuck on it. We had to lift, carry, run over peoples feet. It was crazy. I was one minute late to check two. After that, the rest of the day the sun came out and it was fun. There were four special tests today. For people who don?t lose time, the special tests are the deciding factor. So, I will be penalized. My teammate, Joe Cartwright lost about six minutes, and my other teammate, Curt Wilcox, made it almost on time. We rode for over six hours today and covered nearly 140 miles.

All together half of the American club riders lost some amount of time today. We probably lost one rider, Lonnie Ross, because he blew his bike up on that hill. Our Junior World Team is doing terribly. Our four young hopefuls are struggling. Two of them lost time today, although, all of our Trophy Team did well today.

Once the sun came out it warmed up a bit you could take off your jacket and ride. There were surprisingly few roads, mostly trails. This isn?t typical in Europe. The trails were similar to what we ride in California and were really fun. After being tortured for the first 60 miles, then it turned out to be a really fun ride.

Here?s an interesting story: Luca Trussardi, a former Italian Trophy team rider, is riding for an the American TM Team. Pete Vetrano, an American importer for TM, wanted to race so he talked to the Italian TM guys and he is riding for them: One Italian riding for America and an American riding for the Italians. Go figure.

Race Note: Troy Smith, a young American rider, was in a terrible car crash on the freeway the day before the event started, but he fortunately came out of it fine and rode amazingly well on the first day considering what had happened.

Overall it looks like the weather is improving. Tomorrow we will ride the same course and then move onto a new course on day three. Maybe the hill won?t be as bad tomorrow if it isn?t raining. “Hasta Luego,” from Granada and I will keep you posted on day two tomorrow.

P.S. When I get the final results in my hotel room I will post them so you all can see how the American Trophy team did on Day One.

Ron Lawson


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