ISDE: Team USA Prepares For Monday’s Start In Slovakia

Mark Kariya | September 4, 2015

Jeff Fredette (center) gives ISDE newbie Josh Toth a few pointers on muffler reassembly as Toth prepares his bike for impound tomorrow morning. Photography by Mark Kariya

As the 90th International Six Days Enduro spools up for its start on Monday, September 7, in Kosice, Slovakia, Team USA finds itself in a somewhat surprising state: relaxed and ready to go.

It began with the team container arriving even before the team did so by the time riders and support personnel got to the parc ferme, it was in place and ready to be unloaded. No waiting around until the last day or two to reassemble bikes, test and tune, unlike so many times in the past. Just put them together, ride them on the little test track next door and walk the special tests—all of them at least twice.

As for the tests themselves, there are only six, but they’ll definitely be challenging as well as picturesque. Steep hills define the primary challenge, though if it doesn’t rain, dust could be the most critical factor.

“I think the team’s [outlook] is good [right now],” Taylor Robert of the U.S. World Trophy team offered. “We’re looking forward to the race. Everything looks pretty good for us.

“If it rains, us West Coast guys might be at a little disadvantage, but if its stays dry, I think everybody’s going to do really well. I’m excited to start riding.”

Ironically, Robert crashed on Wednesday, shortly after the test track opened up, when he hit a hidden chunk of concrete that pitched him violently to the ground. Though not a high-speed spill, it was quite a hit.

Robert  said, “It really kind of wadded me up. My shoulder’s really tight, my back was really tight, but I’ve been working on them the last couple days to loosen everything up. Honestly, I’m lucky I didn’t break anything because I broke my triple clamps, bent my subframe, bent my bars, radiator—I really wadded the bike up!”

The rest of the team avoided following suit, with all 31 riders now looking forward to impounding their bikes tomorrow morning, then taking part in opening ceremonies tomorrow evening.

Looking farther ahead, a delegation from Spain gave a brief presentation of next year’s ISDE, which will run from October 11-16, 2016. That’s right, it’ll start on Tuesday and finish on Sunday in one of the few departures from the traditional Monday-Saturday schedule.

Held for only the fourth time in Spain, the 2016 edition will be based in Los Arcos, which is in the Navarra region near Pamplona (the city most famous for its running of the bulls). The Circuito de Navarra road race facility will serve as the parc ferme and center of operations, with organizers expecting to host up to 730 riders! Those competitors will face a course that requires them to complete two laps per day with three special tests per lap.

In a first, the final two days will include several classes of vintage enduro machines, with organizers expecting at least 100 entries that will complete the race’s field.

The Web site for the event is now live and can be found at

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.