Tough Day For Team USA In Slovakia ISDE

Mark Kariya | September 9, 2015

Ryan Sipes once again led the U.S. World Trophy team by winning the E2 class, a performance good enough to keep him atop the overall individual standings for the second day in a row. Unfortunately for the team, Taylor Robert was one of eight riders “excluded” after reportedly missing a secret check. As a result, the team plummeted from second to 20th. Photography by Mark Kariya

Due to a large number of exclusions (which are always fought by the rider’s representative on the FIM Jury), there was a delay in releasing the results of the FIM World Trophy category at the 90th International Six Days Enduro in Kosice, Slovakia.

Nearly a dozen of the top names in the sport found themselves “excluded” when the list of penalties for the day was released so each country’s jury rep will make an appeal in each case. Apparently, there was a “secret” check somewhere on the course that several riders missed, with the organizers promptly labeling those riders excluded. That resulted in half of France’s World Trophy team being disqualified as well as two Spaniards and—in a cruel blow to U.S. fortunes—Taylor Robert.

To make matters worse, Kailub Russell is probably out for the week after suffering a knee injury (the same one he tweaked yesterday) and later crashing his bike. Russell reported on Instagram: “Yesterday I tweaked my knee in the last special test and taped it up and went at it today a little sore. I was able to win the first test of the day then in number 2 I was riding well and dropped into a ravine and heard my knee pop and felt sharp pain and wasn’t able to continue my pace. After getting some treatment at the following checkpoint from Doc McGee I was 7 min late and was just going to cruise out the rest of the day and evaluate the situation tonight. But I ended up having a big get off just cruising down a hill in the 4th special test which ended my six days. I will be headed back to the states to get my knee evaluated to know the extent of the injury. I know my teammates can pull this thing off the next three days! Go get it boys?”

Taylor Robert said at the end of the day: “I finally felt like I started to get into things,” Robert said of his riding so far. “Day one was okay, but nothing that great. Then on day two I don’t really know what happened, other than it didn’t happen for me. The tests were getting pretty rough today, but knowing that we have a new course tomorrow is really good. Kailub crashing out is really disappointing for the US team, but we’ll keep pushing—there’s a lot of racing to do still.”

As a result of all this, Team USA plummets from second to 20th in the FIM World Trophy competition, though that could change pending the results of the jury meeting which is ongoing while this is being written.

Before being notified of the DQs, U.S. World Trophy team leader Ryan Sipes was upbeat after another good day that saw him win three tests to top the E2 charts again. That keeps him the overall individual leader for the second day in a row, and he said, “It’s awesome! I’ve just got to keep from thinking about it too much—just keep focused.”

Australia still leads, but now Italy moves to second, 12 minutes and 39 seconds behind, with Finland third, 24:29 back of the leaders.

Australia also continues to lead the Junior World Trophy division, but here—against all odds—Team USA is making up ground, having moved to a podium spot and holding third with Sweden second. What makes the American result more remarkable is the fact that the Juniors are doing it with essentially two and a half men, having lost Layne Michael to a broken and dislocated wrist in the very first test and with Steward Baylor suffering a painful shoulder injury later on day one.

Thanks to a firm tape job, injections of pain-killer and a healthy dose of resolve, Baylor has ridden two days with the injury yet has not just cruised around but ignored the tremendous pain to post a respectable result, finishing the day 20th in E2. That means he’s leading more than a few guys who are healthy!

Baylor’s brother, Grant, keeps improving and put in a tremendous ride today, ending it on a high note by posting the second fastest time in the final test, with only U.S. World Trophy team/E2/overall individual leader Ryan Sipes faster. Grant Baylor is now eighth in E2 after three days, making him the second Junior. Nick Davis, the only other healthy rider on the squad, is currently 45th in E2 after three days.

“I don’t know if it’s dumb or tough [that keeps Steward going],” Grant joked. “He can deal with pain; I know that from our whole childhood—he was good with pain, getting hurt on bicycles or whatever. It’s pretty awesome that he’s still out here giving it all he’s got, though.”

Australia also continues to dominate the Women’s World Trophy race, stretching its lead further over France and Sweden while the U.S. women hold down fifth.’s Reid Brown, Nate Ferderer and Brian Garrahan continue to maintain fifth in the Club team division, less than two seconds behind fourth.

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.