The fifth day of the 92nd International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) in Brive-la-Gaillarde, France, provided a glimpse of the great potential the U.S. team has. One might suggest there could be a time where it could even rival an established Six Days powerhouse like France, which leads both the FIM World Trophy and Junior World Trophy and sits third in Women’s World Trophy.
But for now, this week, the Americans are mostly giving chase still.
The U.S. World Trophy team, of course, remained 16th of 19 countries in that class due to losing Thad Duvall to injury on Day One. However, the three remaining riders on the team are still going well, though they fell back a little individually, with Taylor Robert now sitting third overall behind Loic Larrieu of France (the E2 leader) and Spanish speedster Josep Garcia (the E1 leader). Robert can take solace in the fact that he still leads E3 comfortably and is within striking distance of the pair ahead of him in the overall individual standings should something happen to them in their respective final motocross tests.
“I was off [pace] in the first test then the second test is super-tight,” Robert said. “Honestly⏤not to make any excuses⏤but I just had a lot of bike in that test! It’s like the tightest [test] we’ve had all week, and I was just struggling to turn on that [KTM 500 XC-F of mine]. I lost quite a bit of time in the first two tests, then the last three tests I rode really good and kind of made some time back up.”
All isn’t bad, though, as Robert pointed out.
“Me and Kailub [Russell] and [Daniel] Milner [from Australia] are winning the Manufacturer’s Cup [for KTM], so there’s a few positives out of it, just not the big one,” Robert said. “But anything could happen tomorrow, I guess.”
The U.S. Junior World Trophy team, on the other hand, looks likely to climb the third step on the podium behind France and Italy, being almost two minutes and 10 seconds behind the leader but almost four and a half ahead of Great Britain.
Then there’s the all-new U.S. Women’s World Trophy team, on track to finish second behind Australia. Here, the future looks particularly bright. Of the three ISDE novices, Brandy Richards enjoyed the best day, winning two of the day’s five tests and ending up second for the day behind leader Laia Sanz of Spain. Even more exciting is the fact that, for the day, the U.S. actually beat Australia by 15-plus seconds!
In the Club team ranks, SRT Off-road got a break and moved up to third place behind a team from Italy and one from Wales (which features GNCC regular Jason Thomas). SRT’s Ben Kelley remained the top U.S. Club rider by finishing fifth for the day followed by teammates Ty Tremaine in 12th and Cody Webb in 15th.