Crashes once again played a big part in American fortunes on day two in Viña del Mar, Chile, at the 93rd International Six Days Enduro (ISDE).
Team USA Slips To Second Place
Though there weren’t as many per man, they cost more time today and, combined with reinvigorated riding by the Australians, the Americans slipped to second, one minute and 31.31 seconds behind the Aussies.
Conversely, the U.S. Junior World Trophy team moved up in the standings to second behind Italy, 2:47.90 back, while the U.S. Women’s World Trophy team maintained second, 3:14.16 behind Australia.
“Honestly, I felt like I was riding good today, but the Australians were riding better,” U.S. World Trophy leader Taylor Robert said. While he maintains the E2 and overall individual lead, he added, “I pulled out a little bit of a gap yesterday and they sucked it right back up today.
“Unfortunately for the team, it was a little bit of a rough day. Ryan [Sipes] lost a minute and 20 seconds on the last two tests [after crashing in both].” The second crash saw him fall heavily against a barrier at the end of the last special test, hurting his chest, though he’s expected to continue tomorrow.
Teammate Zach Bell also had an off day in his first ISDE. After finishing, he went to work practicing replacing the exhaust on his Husqvarna TX 300, a chore he’ll have to complete in tomorrow morning’s brief work period.
Thankfully, Steward Baylor enjoyed a day without major incident and rode to a solid fourth in E2, eighth overall, unofficially.
In the Junior World Trophy division, France seemed to falter while the U.S. threesome of Grant Baylor, Ben Kelley and Josh Toth all had fairly solid rides. Kelley admitted he fell in the first test the second time around and lost his rhythm in the following two tests. It’s unusual to see the Americans crash so often and Kelley explained, “I think it’s mainly the terrain; it’s super-hardpacked, and the little bit of dust on top makes it super-slippery so it’s hard to keep the bike straight. The tests got super-rough [today] so your bike is all over the place.
“It’s really challenging so I’m sure everybody’s crashing out there!”
Baylor proved to be the best on the team for the second day, finishing third in E2. Unofficially, he’s seventh overall after the two days, making him the fastest of the Junior World Trophy riders.
In the Women’s World Trophy standings, Australia pulled more of a gap on the Americans (Tarah Gieger, Brandy Richards and Becca Sheets), but the U.S. women are comfortable with a gap of more than nine minutes over third-place France after two days.
The Club team category saw SRT Racing (J.T. Baker, Kendall Norman and Ty Tremaine) lose team leader Tremaine, who was the fourth-fastest Club rider overall yesterday. The team thus dropped from second to 77th.
Now, the leading U.S. Club team is RPM/Mt. Baker (Cooper Abbott, Ryan Kudla and Dante Oliveira), fifth after two days, unofficially.
Tomorrow sees the field take on a new loop that’s slightly shorter with a total mileage for the day of 250 kilometers.
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