(Sardinia, Italy, September 26, 2013) – All is well for the U.S. squads as riders and crewmembers prepare for next week’s 88th running of the International Six Days Enduro in Sardinia, Italy. All of the team bikes have arrived on time and there has been very little drama in the U.S. pits, as team riders were allowed to test their bikes on a jetting loop today in preparation for Monday’s start.
The 2013 event will officially get underway on Saturday with opening ceremonies near the parc ferme, with six-hundred-and-twenty-seven riders from thirty-six different nations slated to compete in this year’s race. Riders will log up to 140 miles per day during the first five days of competition before finishing up the event with the traditional motocross test on the sixth and final day.
Last year’s champs, France, is pegged as the team to beat, with three individual FIM world champions on their team. Meanwhile host country Italy should be in the running, as well, boasting current E2 world champ Alex Salvini among its ranks, along with the home field advantage.
The U.S.A. comes in with some of its strongest teams to date, with Kurt Caselli (E2), Mike Brown (E3), Charlie Mullins (E2), Zach Osborne (E1), Thad DuVall (E1) and Taylor Robert (E2) representing the Stars and Stripes in the Trophy division, while Andrew DeLong (E1), Jesse Groemm (E2), Grant Baylor (E2), and Kailub Russell (E2) make up the Junior Trophy team.
The Women’s team is comprised of Madi Mastin, Rachel Gutish and Brooke Hodges.
Team manager Antti Kallonen thinks the US has a good shot at some podium finishes.
“We’ve made good progress from last year to this year,, and that’s the goal, every year, to get better and better,” said Kallonen. “We are better organized now and I think right now the riders we have on the Junior Trophy and Trophy teams are the best we have available and all of our riders are healthy, so we are in pretty good shape going into this thing.”
The riders will spend most of tomorrow walking sections and familiarizing themselves with the terrain.