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U.S. team solidifies position on second day of ISDE

September 26, 2012

Story and photos by Steve Berkner

U.S. Team Manager Antti Kallonen (left) and Trophy Team rider Charlie Mullins.

John Barber, who rides for the Wellard Team, in a transfer section on day two.

U.S. Trophy rider Taylor Robert.

U.S. Club team rider Brian Storrie works on his bike.

U.S. Club team rider Josh Knight installs a new tire.

U.S. Club team rider Derek Steahly navigates some mud on day two.

Day two of the 2012 International Six Days Enduro, being held in Saxony, Germany, was a mixed bag of results for the U.S. riders. Only the U.S. Junior Trophy team advanced in the standings, moving up two positions to third behind Great Britain and France. The U.S. World Trophy Team and Women’s Trophy Team both stayed in sixth and fifth places, respectively, for the day.

“The Juniors are advancing well, where Thad (Duvall) and Andrew (Delong) are getting stronger each day, and their teammates Jesse Groemm and Travis Coy are hanging in there as well,” said U.S. Team Manager Antti Kallonen.

“Thad is actually right in there with (U.S. Trophy riders Mike) Brown and (Kurt) Caselli’s scores,” Kallonen added. “Delong is improving as well, but he’s riding with a pretty bad cold and we only hope he continues to get better. Right now, Jesse and Travis are the key as they have to be more consistent and even pick it up a little for the team to stay on the podium.”

Duvall, who is riding in his first ISDE, is impressed with the event.

“Today went friggin’ awesome for me,” Duvall said. “It probably couldn’t get any better, I ran top 20 or better most of the day and moved up to 34th overall, something like 14th in class. Everything is starting to make sense now. Yesterday, everything was new. Today, it was the same course, so we knew what to expect. Tomorrow, we get all new trail. I’m a little excited about that, but it’s also supposed to get tougher so we’re going to have to pick it up.”

Delong also said that he is improving.

“Things are getting better for me as well,” Delong said. “I’m still pretty sick but I’m feeling better. The doctor has me on some stuff to clear my head so at least I can breathe now. I even nailed a couple of tests today and that felt good.”

While the U.S. Juniors saw improvement in their overall results, Kallonen said that the U.S. Trophy Team scores need to improve faster to better the team’s sixth-place position.

“Our scores just aren’t improving well enough,” he said. “Mullins continues getting better and Robert is moving up as well. But with Kurt getting hurt (on day one), the rest of the riders need to be more consistent. We can’t afford to lose any more points by making mistakes or getting stuck in the tests.”

Caselli said that things are improving for him since his day-one crash.

“Today, things went much better,” Caselli said. “I kind of had a crap day yesterday when I crashed and hurt my shoulder. It’s bad enough that it’s affecting my concentration and my speed, but it is what it is.

“Right now I’m trying to be smooth and just try and stay up,” he added. “The doctor said it was a slight (shoulder) separation so things are still pretty sore and that makes my test times off a little, but I’m trying to stay positive. Luckily Charlie and Taylor are making up for it.”

The World Trophy division is led by France. Australia is second and Italy is third in the team standings.

At the end of day two, the U.S. Women’s Trophy Team still found itself in fifth place with the three-rider team of Amanda Mastin, Rachel Gutish and Sarah Whitmore putting in solid rides, but not solid enough to advance.

The top three finishing teams after two days in the Women’ Trophy class are France, Australia and Germany.

In the three-rider Club Team division, the Boise Ridge Riders team of Devan Bolin, Reid Brown and Derek Steahly remained in 16th place.

All 31 US riders made it into impound at the end of day two and are scheduled to start day three.

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