ISDE/DAY 4/DIRT BIKE.COM/151009
U.S. World Trophy team moves up one
By Mark Kariya
Pretty much every racer is glad they won’t have to see this section again. Miles long and full of deep sand whoops the entire way, they’ve done a diabolical job of sending lactic acid levels through the roof. Former motocrosser and ISDE newbie Don Grahn of the JAFMAR Racing doesn’t remember days like this at Southwick.
Down one to five riders since the beginning, for four days Team USA’s World Trophy team has been acting like it can’t afford to make a mistake in the 84th Maxxis FIM International Six Days Enduro in Figueira da Foz, Portugal. And for the most part it hasn’t, which may be paying off because Day Four saw two teams in front of it stumble a bit.
As a result, the American elite team moved up a spot to fifth, Finland dropping three spots to sixth after one of its riders had an off day. And Sweden had it almost as bad—depending on how you look at it—when veteran Bjorne Carlsson retired with a bike problem, though the remaining Swedes were fast enough to also take advantage of Finland’s troubles and moved up to fourth behind France, Italy and Australia.
The U.S. Junior World Trophy team had a bit of difficulty as well when Cory Buttrick, who’d been having a solid day, fell off in one sandy section. Though he expected a hard landing, the sand was very forgiving—but his bike wasn’t. It landed on him and left a giant scrape on his back that will surely see him wincing when it comes time to shower or sleep.
Overall, though, the Juniors lost only a little time overall and remained third behind Spain and France.
America’s Women’s World Cup team fared about as well. Maria Forsberg placed second for the day behind only French superwoman Ludivine Puy, but Amanda Mastin suffered an ankle injury. That, coupled with a couple of brutal sand-whoop sections many miles long, resulted in a slower time, though nearly everyone was slower today due to the rougher conditions.
Fred Hoess (fourth in C1), Nick Fahringer (seventh in C2) and Rory Sullivan (third in C3) continued to be the American leaders in the three Club team classes. Sullivan’s Team Carter Engineering is the highest placed U.S. Club team at the moment in 11th.
As a Club rider, Troy Swettenam is near the back of the starting order each day to begin with. Everything he encounters on the trail is in far worse shape than what the World Trophy riders see.
This should spell the end of most of the sand, as Day Five is expected to include far more casual two-track. As U.S. World Trophy team leader Kurt Caselli (who topped the second test and was second overall individual for the day) said, “I think the tests tomorrow are going to be really long.
“It should be good, though; I think it’ll be a good day. We’ll see. The team’s doing good—everybody’s happy, and one more day then off to the motocross track where I think all of these guys are pretty much looking forward to.”
Despite getting pulled aside for a sound test at the end of the day (something that he failed three times after replacing the silencer, the pipe and finally wrapping the muffler with an inner tube), Nathan Kanney remained unfazed.
Amanda Mastin tweaked her ankle, though she carried on to finish the day for the U.S. Women’s World Cup trio which is still in fourth.