ISDE: All Are In. Team USA Ready To Go Racing

Mark Kariya | September 6, 2015
Team USA Slovakia

The gang’s all here! The 31 riders comprising Team USA got together for team photos this morning. Photography by Mark Kariya

The 31 riders comprising Team USA got all administrative responsibilities completed and impounded their bikes Saturday morning in Kosice, Slovakia, before taking part later in the afternoon at the festive opening ceremonies of the 90th International Six Days Enduro in the center of this charming Eastern European city.

Most of the Americans sailed through the technical inspection, held in the parking lot of a shopping mall a few hundred yards from the main pit area. But as is to be expected, it took a try or two or three for others, like Jubal Brown of the Eric Cleveland Club team who needed three tries before finally getting his bike quiet enough to pass the strict sound test. There was also a paperwork issue for a couple riders whose VIN numbers and papers didn’t match, though they were allowed to impound and will have to produce the correct paperwork before starting on Monday morning, September 7.

Opening ceremonies was the highlight of the day and took place in the old part of town. Photography by Mark Kariya

Veteran Mike Brown carried the U.S. flag for the team in the parade of nations down the cobblestone streets, the large contingent of racers and support personnel surprising the guests of two different weddings that were just finishing as the group walked past.

Sunday will therefore be a day without bikes for all of the riders with some planning on taking it easy and doing last-minute chores like prepping goggles for different conditions or going back out and walking special tests again.

The mood and outlook of the Americans is cautiously optimistic. As retired Six Days legend Jeff Fredette put it, “We’ve got a really good team, [but] everything’s got to go our way. From what I understand, there are hills in the special tests that can either make you or break you.”

A light mid-day rain should help quell some concerns about heavy dust, but with the area not receiving significant precipitation for some time before, it will take more than a single shower to allay those fears completely.

ISDE Photos


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.