A week of highs and lows at the 93rd International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) in Viña del Mar, Chile, saw the U.S. close out this running with several high marks, not the least of which was a historic runner-up result in not one but all three of the elite divisions: FIM World Trophy (WT), Junior World Trophy (JWT) and Women’s World Trophy (WWT).
In addition, several riders ended their week with some exceptional rides in the final motocross tests, held north of the city on a track carved out of the beach specifically for this race.
U.S. Finishes Strong at Chile ISDE
Having been thrown into the deep end by being named to the U.S. WT team in his first-ever enduro, former professional motocrosser Zach Bell had one thing in mind all week: make it to the end and show what he could do on a motocross track. As he shared yesterday, “We have one more day tomorrow and that’s moto so I get to show a little bit of my specialty now and have some fun with it.”
Indeed he did, as he not only won his E3 moto handily, in doing so he set the fastest time of the day among all E1, E2 and E3 motos—and doing so in the final race of the day when the track was at its worst.
But that didn’t change the final team standings, as Australia celebrated its second victory in WT (its first coming out of the 2015 ISDE in Slovakia). And Australia did it with the bare minimum three riders after losing Lyndon Snodgrass to a mechanical DNF on day two.
Led by former GNCC regular Daniel Milner—who ended up winning E3 and the overall individual honors by a minute, 54.48 seconds over American Taylor Robert—the Aussies thrived in the challenging Chilean tests.
As Milner noted, “I think it’s a lot like Australia [here], to be honest.” (He became the second Australian to top the overall individual standings after Shane Watts pulled it off on home ground in 1998.)
Australia ended up with a 7:09.98 gap over the U.S. with Italy third, nearly four minutes further back.
The U.S. Junior World Trophy team held on easily to second with good rides by all three of its riders, Josh Toth being the standout by riding to the fourth-best time in E1. Ben Kelley and Grant Baylor were 12th and 13th in E2, respectively, with Baylor’s shoulder injury a couple days ago still affecting him.
As it was, they trailed Italy by 3:57.50, but their margin over third-place France was almost 15 minutes.
In Women’s World Trophy, the U.S. won the inaugural running of the division back in 2007, the last time Chile hosted Six Days, but there was no beating the depth of the Australian team which racked up its sixth win in a row. The margin of victory was 9:03.10 with Spain claiming the final podium spot.
Though French motocross ace Livia Lancelot set the fastest women’s time, she had to fight for it with both U.S. leader Brandy Richards and Australia’s Tayla Jones. At the end of their moto, Lancelot pulled a 13.86-second gap on Jones who was still fastest woman for the week.
Third in the moto after a big crash, Richards was clearly the second-fastest woman of the week, teammates Tarah Gieger and Becca Sheets sixth and eighth for the week, respectively.
While no American Club teams got on the podium, the RPM/Mt. Baker team came close with Cooper Abbott, Ryan Kudla and Dante Oliveira taking fourth. In fact, three U.S. teams placed in the top 10 with Gas Gas North America (Travis Coy, Tyler Vore and Trent Whisenant) seventh and Missouri Mudders (James King, Nick O’Bryant and Talon Soenksen) ninth.
Oliveira set the fastest time among the Club riders with his C2 moto win, Abbott fourth-fastest in both C2 and overall Club. Overall for the week, Oliveira ended up sixth-fastest Club rider with C3 winner J.T. Baker of RPM Racing eighth-best.
The 94th ISDE will take place in Portomaio, Portugal, next year, likely at the end of October or beginning of November.
Click here for complete results.