Live and direct daily notebook from the 2018 International Six Days Enduro, in Viña del Mar, Chile – day one in the dust.
Day one of the 2018 ISDE in Chile has been fast and loose. Impressive opening tests times from the get-go, coupled with equally impressive amounts of dust filling the air as 450 riders busted out the six tests to begin the week.
Taking an early lead in the World Trophy competition is Team USA, with Taylor Robert the fastest overall rider for the day and heading the E2 standings also. Robert looked smooth and fast which proved to be the key in the increasingly powder-like conditions.
Ending the day pleased with his ISDE 2018 start Robert pointed out things have began on a more positive note than they did 12 months ago in France: “To be in this position after day one is very promising, said Taylor. “Last year we lost the entire race on day one, so we were very aware of not making that mistake again. Everyone put their best foot forward today, with a little room to spare.
“Personally, it’s been a great day, I only had one major mistake in the second enduro test but I picked it up and still managed to finish just a second behind the fastest. I managed to finish no less than third in each special test, so that’s been a real confidence boost for sure.”
“My team-mate scared me on the first test. He went in front of me and he was on the ground about a quarter mile in and that gave me flashbacks from last year when Thad crashed in the first test.”
Who’s fastest? You are mate!
Australians Daniel Sanders and Daniel Milner were second and third fastest respectively overall to help put their team second in the World Trophy standings – by just four seconds. Making hay in the opening test, Sanders finished with his rear brake smoking, a whole heap of tape wrapped around the sprocket and surprised to find himself the early leader aboard the 500 Husqvarna.
Hammering the point home about how the first day at ISDE can be an extra battle for riders until they settle into scratch time order on day two, "Chucky" Sanders says Team Australia likely lost the overall win by just four seconds through having to overtake slower riders: “It’s been a bit of a surprise really from the first test to be as fast. The first test was a bit of a struggle with some slower riders, missed a couple of corners and even stalled it once but still managed to be fastest overall.
“Every test we had to pass at least three people so it has been a struggle in that way, especially if you catch a fast rider like I caught Nambotin in one test and how can you pass Nambotin, you know?!”
Spain in the game
Spain brought home a fine third place on day one. The Guerrero brother Victor and Cristobel were led by Jaime Betriu who stacked up some solid test times often mixing it with the fastest overall riders individually. Consistency is the key in the Six Days of course and Spain, led by the very experienced Ivan Cervantes, proved the point.
Team Italy also put in a shift on day one finishing fourth, ahead of slow-starting 2017 ISDE trophy winners France. Davide Guarneri was the stand-out rider for Italy: “It was a little difficult to know how we are doing today because the running order meant we were all quite spread out as riders. But my day was good and only a mistake in the dust on the last test but I think of course it is the same for everyone.”
France will be disappointed with their opening day defending the ISDE Trophy crown. They surely put in the preparation time with much test walking during the week ahead of today’s opening day but things didn’t quite click for France who finished 1m56s behind leaders, Team USA.
Best French rider was Loic Larrieu: “It was a little difficult today because for me I started after the last E1 riders and through all the tests I passed two or three riders. With the dust it is really difficult to pass and I think we lost some time.
“But in this conditions I am happy to finish without any crashes and the bike is as good as it was to start the day so we begin day two in scratch order and it will be a normal day.”
So close in the Juniors
In the Juniors, Team Italy have the early jump with a strong collective result with Enduro Junior World Championship hotshots Andrea Verona and Matteo Cavallo pushing each other as they have all 2018 – only this time for Italy’s collective cause.
Fastest Junior rider in class however was Team USA's Grant Baylor who also posted ninth best overall time: “I posted the fastest first test but I think I was second overall for the first three tests of the day but honestly after that I didn’t really get time to check the overall because the day went so fast.
“I’m definitely more of an enduro guy and seven of the eight tests we’ll do this week are really enduro tests to me. I definitely prefer it that way.
“I had a couple of tip-overs today, four times maybe in total but really it has always been one of my goals to come out of here the top junior for one day of the week and to get it done on the first day is an accomplishment. I’ve been so close in the past but never been the top guy so that is a goal achieved for me.”
As ever the Juniors are a hot class to watch with defending champions Team France second ahead of USA and really there is very little in it: Italy lead France by 13.44s who are in turn 33s behind – next best are host nation Chile Juniors but 2m41s back.
Tayla Jones puts the hammer down
The Women’s Trophy opening day was a battle as expected between Australia and USA with the Aussies taking an early lead.
Tayla Jones led the way impressively 50 seconds clear of next fastest, France’s Livia Lancelot. The Australian team pulled over ninety seconds clear of the United States in second in the Women’s Trophy, with Spain a further two minutes and sixteen seconds back in third. France and Sweden complete the top five.
Day two in Chile is a repeat of day one (check here for day one results) and with the dust increasingly an issue for the second lap on day one things should be interesting!
Jon PearsonEnduro21 Editor and Bike Testerjon.firstname.lastname@example.org