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U.S. teams keep fighting at halfway point of 2012 ISDE

September 27, 2012

Story and photos by Steve Berkner


U.S. Team Manager Antti Kallonen talks to Junior Team rider Thad Duvall at the end of a special test.


U.S. Junior team rider Travis Coy in a special test on day three.


U.S. Club team rider Johnny Maier walks out of impound.


U.S. pit workers check the lights on Women's Team rider Rachel Gutish's bike before re-impounding.

With three days behind them and three days to go, the U.S. team at the International Six Days Enduro in Saxony, Germany, is half way to finishing what has become a very difficult Six Days. The World Trophy, Junior Trophy and Women’s Trophy teams have struggled to find momentum at the 2012 ISDE.

“It takes a consistent team effort to do good at Six Days,” said U.S. Team Manager Antti Kallonen. “We’re getting a lot of good scores from our riders but were getting the occasional bad score as well. Right now we’re still just making to many mistakes to be effective.

“The good news is the Junior Team is still on the podium today (in third place) and the Trophy Team has moved up one place (from sixth to fifth), but we’re still not at the speed we need to be,” he added.

The US Women’s Trophy Team has been in fifth place all three days.

“As far as the Junior Team goes we’re very happy,” Kallonen said. “This is the first Six Days for three of them and they’re doing very well.

“Junior rider Jesse Groemm has really started to come together. It took him a couple of days to figure it out, but today he had some good scores and that’ll help keep them on the podium.”

Groemm joins Thad Duvall and Andrew Delong. Duvall and Delong lead the U.S. Junior Team effort and are 12th and 26th in a very competitive E2 class. Travis Coy is the fourth rider on the team.

“We have to be honest with ourselves,” said Kallonen, “Catching the top two Junior teams (France and Great Britain who have leads of more than 10 minutes, 22 seconds, and 8 minutes, 53 seconds, respectively) probably isn’t going to happen unless they have problems. Our biggest concern right now is holding onto our (third place) lead over Australia.”

Four minutes, 36 seconds, separates the U.S. and Australian Junior teams.

In the six-rider Trophy Team division, the U.S. team advanced one position from sixth to fifth place.

“With our (Trophy Team) scores today, I’d like to say that we are still in the hunt for a podium finish, but so are three other teams who are all within minutes of (third place) as well,” Kallonen said.

The top three World Trophy Teams are France, with a score of 16:41:02; Australia, with a score of 16:59:42; and Italy, whose score is 17:07:39. Spain, the United States and Finland have scores of 17:11:03, 17:11:58 and 17:14:14, respectively.

Leading the effort for the American squad are Charlie Mullins, Taylor Robert and Kurt Caselli, who are currently sixth, eighth and 11th in the E2 class, and Mike Brown, who is 10th in the E1 class. Russell Bobbitt and Destry Abbott round out the U.S. Trophy Team.

The three-rider U.S. Women’s Team had to re-impound one of its riders, Rachel Gutish, who houred out due to a leg injury suffered in a crash earlier in the day.

Gutish’s score for day three will stand at the three-hour maximum. She will be allowed to ride on for the team’s overall score without the chance of an individual medal. Mandi Mastin and Sarah Whitmore round out the U.S. Women’s team.

In the three-rider club team division, the US Wellard Team -- made up of rider’s Jordan Brandt, Fred Hoess and John Barber -- moved into the top American team position where they are now in 17th.

The top finishing U.S. Club team on day one and day two was the Boise Ridge Rider team. That team has dropped from 16th to 19th place after day three.

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