ISDE: Team USA Maintains Third After Day 4

Mark Kariya | August 11, 2011

“It was an eventful day,” Kurt Caselli said. “Day Four started out as I woke up to rain on the roof and that’s all I could hear when I woke up. I definitely wasn’t feeling like getting out of bed!”

But the captain of the U.S. World Trophy team ended up being glad he dragged himself out of bed as the last half of the 86th International Six Days Enduro began in Kotka, Finland. The E2 class leader topped three of the long day’s six special tests and earned a second, a third and an eighth in the others.

The only black mark on his day came at the end when he was pulled over by local police along with a large group of other competitors and cited for speeding. The process would naturally take time, and he ended up being four minutes late to the pre-finish check. Fortunately, the FIM jury deemed the situation unfair since no Finns in the group were ticketed so it gave back the time lost.

Finland added more time to its lead in the World Trophy race, with Spain and the U.S. remaining second and third, respectively.

“It was a good day,” Caselli continued. “The team’s still doing really well.” Kurt Caselli.

Kurt Caselli set fast time in three of the day’s six special tests. He leads the E2 class.

So are the four Americans who comprise the U.S. Junior World Trophy team, though they definitely experienced highs and lows.

“Today was by far my worst day, just because I didn’t have rear brakes in the first test and the last test,” Cory Buttrick reported. “It was so hard to get hold of people today, let alone you didn’t have time to do anything [on the bike at the checks]. This race has been tough because you’re so pressed for time.

“It could be a lot worse – at least I didn’t drop any route points, and I know a lot of other people have had definitely a lot worse week.”Destry Abbott

Destry Abbott is worried about a hole in his swingarm created by his chain and all the grit from the muddy trail.

Teammates Andrew Delong and Cody Schafer backed him up with solid scores as well; Ian Blythe had problems that caused him time again so his score wasn’t counted in the team’s total, which keeps them in fourth. France took the Junior lead from Sweden, which lost Johann Carlsson with a bike problem. Great Britain, which went down to three yesterday, maintains third, a substantial 19 minutes ahead of the American quartet.

The Women’s World Trophy standings remain France, Finland and Australia, France now an hour and 12 minutes in front.Russell Bobbitt

Russell Bobbitt continues to ride well on the gruelling trail.

In the Club team standings, Jafmar Racing is now the best American team with the trio of Seniors led by Jake Vainio in 20th, one spot better than the team which previously held the honor of top American Club team.

Today’s course was over 300 kilometers long – the longest of the race – and it will be repeated tomorrow. Consisting of two laps, it took the riders very close to the Russian border and crossed through a unique feature in Finnish history: the Salpalinja Line. A system of bunkers, trenches and thousands of huge rocks that served as anti-tank barricades, it was constructed during WWII to deter any attacks from the east. It did its job as no nation ever tried to breach it. Tomorrow’s course will mirror it and leave only the 40 kilometer trail ride to the final motocross test on Day Six where Team USA hopes to be on the podium in at least one category.

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.