KATO REPORT: ISDE DAY 5

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Though the U.S. Junior World Trophy team lost its hopes for a podium when Nick Davis’ bike quit, Grant (shown) and Steward Baylor carried on in superb fashion, Grant finishing the day a career best fifth in E2.

 

For Mark Kariya’s day six report, click here.

Ryan Sipes is the lone bright hope now for Team USA. We have good news and we have bad news. The good news is that all eight of the riders disqualified for missing a check on Day 3 were reinstated after the FIM upheld the French federation’s appeal (France being the most to gain since half of its World Trophy team got DQed). But it wasn’t until the end of the day that people learned of the decision on a cool, cloudy but dry day in Kosice, Slovakia.The U.S. World Trophy team was already down two of its six riders at the 90th International Six Days Enduro, so having Taylor Robert back officially and able to contribute to the team’s score was just a little better than a moral victory. (A team’s best five scores of the six available count in World Trophy so four scores won’t cut it.) Since Robert didn’t know what the FIM would decide when he left the starting line at 8:00 this morning, he said, “I just went out there and rode and tried to learn and use it as practice, really, like I was saying before. “I didn’t have a great day; I wrecked pretty good a couple times. In the last test I knocked the wind out of myself and laid on the ground for about 10 seconds until I could catch my breath.
“It was just a roller-coaster of a week!”

Six Days rookie Josh Toth turned it on today to claim second in C1; his time made him the fastest American among all Club team riders, though his team is only 29th since he had a problem on Day 1 and had to reimpound.
Six Days rookie Josh Toth turned it on today to claim second in C1; his time made him the fastest American among all Club team riders, though his team is only 29th since he had a problem on Day 1 and had to reimpound.

And perhaps no team felt that way more than the U.S., though Australia may argue that. The Aussies lost the lead in World Trophy because France came back from the dead, thanks to having its three disqualified riders reinstated and able to contribute once again. If you look at the retroactively adjusted scoring, France began besting Australia’s scores on Day 3 and now goes into the final (short) day carrying a two- minute and four-second advantage over Australia, with Spain also benefitting, having two of its riders reinstated and sitting in third, though 11 and a half minutes back of France.
The other title fights saw no real changes, with Australia once again on top in Junior World Trophy (followed by Sweden and Italy) as well as Women’s World Trophy (followed by France and Sweden).
America’s GoFasters.com threesome of Reid Brown, Nate Ferderer and Brian Garrahan remained a fourth in the Club team competition. It’d be next to impossible to earn a podium unless one of the teams ahead lose a rider, and if they have a big problem like that, they could also see fourth go away.

Rachel Gutish has enjoyed a good week seeing her results get better as the week progressed. The three Americans are fifth in Women’s World Trophy.
Rachel Gutish has enjoyed a good week seeing her results get better as the week progressed. The three Americans are fifth in Women’s World Trophy.

Team USA’s Junior World Trophy squad suffered a huge setback today when Nick Davis DNFed with a dead bike early in the day. In the Juniors, the three best of the four riders score so with just Grant and Steward Baylor left in the running, the team plummeted to the bottom of the chart. Individually, the Baylors both put in excellent rides, with Grant finishing the day fifth in E2, Steward having trouble (due to his separated shoulder) picking up his bike after a fall in one test yet still earning 18th in E2 for the day.

The brightest spot for the Americans continues to be Ryan Sipes. In his first year on the U.S. World Trophy team and in just his second Six Days (his first being Italy in 2013 when he was a Club team rider), Sipes has managed to cling to not only the week’s E2 lead but also the overall individual lead. He’s been trading test wins with Australian leader Daniel Milner, reminiscent of their battles in the Sprint Enduro series back in the States. France’s Loic Larrieu (one of the eight previously DQed riders) was the day’s E2 and overall winner followed by Milner and Sipes.

Ryan Sipes is the solitary bright spot for Team USA, which lost the chance of seeing its Junior World Trophy team podium when Nick Davis’ bike quit early in the day. Sipes could make history tomorrow as the first American to win the overall individual honors, but he still has to make it through tomorrow. In his favor are a 35-second cushion over Australian Daniel Milner and AMA National MX experience.
Ryan Sipes is the solitary bright spot for Team USA, which lost the chance of seeing its Junior World Trophy team podium when Nick Davis’ bike quit early in the day. Sipes could make history tomorrow as the first American to win the overall individual honors, but he still has to make it through tomorrow. In his favor are a 35-second cushion over Australian Daniel Milner and AMA National MX experience.

Today, with that history-making win edging closer, Sipes wisely throttled back just a tad, saying, “I didn’t want to lose time, but also I wanted to play it a little bit safer today just so nothing stupid happened. You could fall and lose 30 seconds in one test!” His plan tomorrow? “Going into tomorrow, we’ll just get over to the moto [final test], just be smart out there [and] it should be good.” But there are no guarantees in racing so he and the team are breaking out the champagne just yet.

 

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