Story and photos by Mark Kariya
The U.S. ISDE teams finished the 93rd FIM International Six Days Enduro on a good note Saturday in Viña del Mar, Chile. The U.S. World Trophy, Junior World Trophy and Women's World Trophy teams ended the sixth and final day of the event in second place in the division standings.
The U.S. ISDE World Trophy team-(from left) Steward Baylor, Zach Bell, Ryan Sipes and Taylor Robert-took second spot on the podium.
Several individual American riders put in strong performances on the last day of competition. One of those riders was U.S. World Trophy team rider and former motocross pro Zach Bell. He got a good start in the E3 Class moto, sizing up the other riders and then passed them with ease on his way to winning the moto and posting the day's fastest time by about 11 seconds.
After a somewhat rough introduction to ISDE competition, U.S. rider Zach Bell relished the chance to show what he knows best. The former MX pro made his mark in the E3 moto, taking the win and setting the fastest time among all E1, E2 and E3 races for the day.
Bell's teammate Ryan Sipes put in the second-fastest E1 Class time of the day, while U.S. ISDE World Trophy rider Taylor Robert crashed twice and was forced to settle for ninth-fastest E2 time. Robert's teammate Steward Baylor was less than two seconds behind him, posting the 10th-best E2 time of the day.
Roberts' crashes ended his chance to overtake Australia's Daniel Milner for overall individual honors. Milner finished Day Six with the fourth-fastest E3 time of the day, 26.95 seconds behind Bell. Milner's overall margin over Bell was 1:54.48 in the final individual standings.
The Australian World Trophy team beat the American team by 7:09.98. Italy rounded out the event podium, finishing 4 minutes adrift of the U.S. team.
The U.S. ISDE Junior World Trophy team finished second to Italy but ahead of France with riders Grant Baylor, Ben Kelley and Josh Toth.
Josh Toth paced the U.S. Junior World Trophy team on Day Six by putting in the fourth-best E1 time. The other U.S. Junior World Trophy riders, Ben Kelley and Grant Baylor, ended the day with the 12th- and 13th-fastest times in E2. The U.S. junior team ended the event 3:57.50 behind division winners Italy and about 15 minutes ahead of the third-place French team.
The U.S. Women's World Trophy team of Brandy Richards, Becca Sheets and Tarah Gieger congratulate the Australians for their sixth-straight triumph in the event's women's division.
In Women's World Trophy competition, U.S. rider Brandy Richards had a big crash in the whoops section of the sandy beach-side course. She had to settle for third-fastest overall individual time in the women's division behind French motocross specialist Livia Lancelot and Australian Tayla Jones. Richards' teammate Tarah Gieger tipped over in a sandy corner, but was able to pick her bike up and get going again. She salvaged fifth place overall, while American Becca Sheets ended up with the seventh-fastest time in the women's division. The American team ended the event second to the Australian team, but comfortably ahead of the third place Spanish team.
Dante Oliveira heads out on his sighting lap. By the end of his C2 moto, he'd not only won it but set the fastest Club time of the day so solidify his fifth overall individual Club rider. His RPM/Mt. Baker team ended up fourth out of 106 club teams, the best American Club team result in the event.
Club team riders were first to take to the track on Day Six. The terrain wasn't as rough in the early motos, and the RPM/Mt. Baker's team rider Dante Oliveira won his heat with the fastest overall C2 time.
The RPM/Mt. Baker team finished the event fourth among the 106 Club teams, with Gas Gas North America (Travis Coy, Tyler Vore and Trent Whisenant) finishing in seventh place and Missouri Mudders (James King, Nick O'Bryant and Talon Soenksen) in ninth.