Caselli Hanging Tough

Mark Kariya | November 16, 2007

Four down, two to go. This is traditionally one of the toughest days in the International Six Days Enduro, and for Team USA’s Kurt Caselli, “It was the worst [day] yet,” he admitted. “I didn’t feel that good this morning. I was tired, I think, from the last few days. It’s been a tough Six Days.”

Caselli trails French rider Johnny Aubert for the overall lead by less than a second.

Day Four was a rerun of yesterday’s course, meaning it was rougher and dustier. After being hammered for three days, bodies are reaching extra deep for reserves in order to muster enough energy to finish strongly.

For Caselli and the rest of the U.S. World Trophy team, improving on their current 10th place will likely depend on other teams running into problems – not out of the question. After all, today saw a number of riders DNFing, including Finland’s Juha Salminen who reportedly lost a main seal and fried the clutch in his KTM 450 in the final test less than 100 yards from the finish. Some spectators helped push him in the sand in order to reach the finish, which is in itself grounds for disqualification. (Salminen’s teammate Marko Tarkkala is said to have experienced the same type failure, but his occurred as he rounded the last turn and he was able to paddle the last few feet to reach the finish unaided.)

Finland’s problems dropped it to second behind Italy with France holding third.

In the Junior World Trophy standings, Spain continued to hold firmly onto the lead followed by France with Australia a rather distant third. The U.S., sixth after day three, has dropped to seventh, unofficially.

However, the American Women’s World Cup trio maintained its stranglehold on first with Nicole Bradford turning in the second-fastest times for the day behind Germany’s Heike Petrick. Amanda Mastin was fourth fastest for the day, so those two scores made it easy for the Americans to lead France and Sweden.

Among those to retire was John Yates whose KTM 250 thumper made expensive clattering noises, as he reached the pavement at the bottom of one long descent.

World Trophy team member Rory Sullivan celebrated his 25th birthday today by turning in another solid, steady ride. “I could be working right now; I could be sitting at home, but I’m riding, I’m doing what I love to do and whether it’s a good day or a bad day, when you’re riding it’s always good!” he said. “I didn’t crash in any tests, so no crashing, good riding, a lot of dust in my face and I’m still smiling, so it was a happy birthday.”

Mark Kariya | Contributor

Kariya spends way too much time in the desert, but we’re glad he does as he’s the man who gets us our coverage of all things sandy.