By Steve Berkner
NAVARRA, Spain – The U.S. World Trophy Team found itself in first place after the first day of the Spanish International Six Days Enduro, led by the efforts of Kailub Russell and Taylor Robert, who finished the day in second and third place overall, and Thad Duvall who finished 15th overall.
Kailub Russell’s second-place overall efforts, first in the E2 class, helped the four-rider U.S. World Trophy Team to a first place overall Day One finish. Photo by Steve Berkner
“I think it’s safe to say we had a solid start that lived up to our expectations,” said U.S. National ISDE team manager Antti Kallonen. “Kailub’s and Taylor’s efforts along with Thad (Duvall’s) top 15 finish were all first rate. But it was Layne Michael's consistency (he finished 41st overall for the day) that made the difference.”
The U.S. Team leads the World Trophy Team division, followed by second-place Italy, third-place United Kingdom and fourth-place Spain. They trail the US by 26, 56 and 96 seconds, respectively.
“Things have really changed this year, where the FIM (the ISDE’s sanctioning body) has reduced the size of the Trophy Teams to four riders (from six) and all of the team’s rider’s scores now count toward the overall,” Kallonen said. “No longer do we have one rider’s score to throw out, like before. It has changed the way we make decisions on how aggressive a team should ride where consistency is now the key, and that’s where Layne comes in.”
Michaels replaced last year’s ISDE overall champion, Ryan Sipes, who was lost to an injury nine days ago.
Rule changes also affected the three-rider Junior Trophy Team division. Until this year, teams comprised four riders aged 23 and younger, and one low score was thrown out each day.
After Day One, the U.S. team of Trevor Bollinger and brothers Steward and Grant Baylor sits in fourth place, behind Sweden, Italy and Spain.
“Even though we are 29 seconds behind Sweden, we are less than 6 seconds out of second place, while 5.69 seconds separate second, third and fourth places,” Kallonen said.
In the Women’s Trophy Team division, the U.S. three-rider team of Rachel Gutish, Nicole Bradford and Tarah Gieger finished the day in fourth place, behind Australia, Spain and Germany. Only two scores are counted toward any women’s team overall score.
The U.S. Women’s World Trophy Team, (left to right) Tarah Gieger, Nicole Bradford and Rachel Gutish, leave the start of Day One. They finished the day in fourth place overall. Photo by Steve Berkner
As of this writing the official results of the three-rider club team division where not posted, but individual club team rider scores had American riders Josh Toth in second place and Nathan Ferderer ninth in the C1 class; Ben Kelley first, Ryan Powell sixth and Jimmy Jarrett eighth in the C2 class; and Broc Hepler first and Alex Dorsey eighth in the C3 class.