ISDE UPDATE: DAY 3 By Mark Kariya


Team USA holds positions despite minor glitches

By Mark Kariya

Destry Abbott was sore from yesterday’s crash, but he still managed to make up some of the ground he lost yesterday. He was 10th for the day in E2, moving him up to 15th in class after three days. The U.S. World Trophy team remains sixth behind France, Italy, Finland, Australia and Sweden.

A few glitches hurt individual riders’ scores, but overall, Team USA survived the third day of the 84th Maxxis FIM International Six Days Enduro in Figueira da Foz, Portugal, intact and in the same place as yesterday. Its World Trophy team maintained sixth behind France, Italy and Finland; its Junior World Trophy team is still third behind Spain and France; and the Women’s Cup team remained fourth behind France, Sweden and Australia.
Cory Buttrick of the Junior squad had an excellent day going, continuing to climb the steep learning curve in his first Six Days, but a mismarked time card at the end of the day cost him a minute. It also cost the team a minute, and they found themselves much farther behind the two leading groups; instead of being less than 15 seconds behind, they’re now a bit over two and a half minutes down.
In the Women’s Cup division, Lacy Jones hit a concrete road marker after getting out of shape in a long sand section. The collision broke the front-brake caliper off her bike, and she had to ride the last half of the day with only her rear brake and wits to slow her down when needed.
Still, their woes were better than what a few other countries experienced. Finland’s World Trophy team, for instance, lost Juha Salminen the first thing in the morning. His bike—that had overheated and quit in a test the day before—blew vital fluids out through a few new holes when he hit the start button so Finland is now in the same boat as Team USA: down a man, though their five are still turning in quicker times.
Among Club riders, Fred Hoess holds a solid fourth in C1 while Nick Fahringer is ninth in C2. Rory Sullivan is less than two minutes behind the leader in C3 where he holds third.

Russell Bobbitt wouldn’t have passed a sound test after the stinger broke off his bike’s expansion chamber, but he still posted the best scores of the three remaining U.S. Junior World Trophy team racers. Unfortunately, they lost a bit of ground to though they remain third behind Spain and France.

Day Three’s loop was a relatively short one north of town. Though it featured fewer sandy tests, it had two extremely long sand sections that rivaled Baja’s infamous San Felipe whoops after several hundred riders pounded through. In fact, several riders reported seeing individuals pulling off to the side to take a break after 20 minutes or so of relentless pounding. Tomorrow will be more of the same, with the competitors now getting into the groove.
American leader Kurt Caselli, however, noticed at least one difference between previous ISDEs and the Portuguese one: “This Six Days has been a little bit different than the last few I’ve done just because we’re doing a lot more changes with the suspension and the bike setup.”

Rory Sullivan is having another good week and is currently third in C3. Today’s trails were, of course, all new and will be repeated tomorrow, including this tricky descent along a canyon that empties onto a road, all with views of the Atlantic below.

U.S. World Trophy team member Damon Huffman has been battling tendinitis in his forearms all week, but he vows to finish his first ISDE. The schedule has enough time so maintaining 250Fs is a near-constant at checks.

Comments are closed.