For many, seeing France win this year’s International Six Days Enduro in Germany came as no great surprise. Entering the event fielding a team that featured six of the best enduro riders in the world, France were favourites for victory before the race even began.
Armed with KTM’s newly crowned Enduro World champions Christophe Nambotin and Antoine Meo, the current leader of the Enduro 2 World Championship Pela Renet (Husaberg), double world champion Johnny Aubert (KTM) and the vastly experienced duo of Rodrig Thain (Honda) and Gas Gas’ Seb Guillaume, they weren’t expected to do anything less than win.
Right from the beginning of day one they quickly began to establish themselves at the head of the field. At first it was Renet that commanded an early lead on days one and two before a couple of mistakes set him back. Meo immediately took over the reigns as the leader of the individual overall classification but more importantly the race to become the fastest Frenchman.
Noticeably slow to rise to the occasion it took until day four before Nambotin made a challenge for the lead. With heavy overnight rain leaving the cross tests incredibly slippery and muddy, Nambotin executed what he does best and carved an inch-perfect, blisteringly fast line to set the fastest times of the day and with it take control of the lead that Meo once had.
With neither rider wanting to yield to the other, Nambotin continued to respond to Meo’s attack during the penultimate day of the competition and entered the sixth and final day of the ISDE holding an 11-seocnd lead over his teammate.
Knowing that even after five days of intense special test racing all could still be lost, Nambotin committed everything he had left in him to the final motocross race of the day around the infamous Sachsenring race circuit. Crossing the finish line as victor he helped France wrap up a convincing World Trophy Team win in the year’s ISDE while also adding the title of individual overall ISDE champion to the Enduro 3 World Championship he won just 28 days earlier.
“Ending the ISDE as World Trophy team champions with France and also as the individual overall winner is a fantastic result for me,” confirmed Nambotin. “We’ve had an incredible battle within our team and it’s pushed us on more and more each day. The bond we have is very close and while the racing has been extremely competitive it’s also been a lot of fun. I’m so happy that as a team we were able to win by such a margin and to now add this title to my world championship is an amazing feeling – this year had gone beyond my wildest expectations.”