Our daily notebook and photo story digesting day two of the International Six Days Enduro in Viña del Mar, Chile.
Australia pull the pin on day two at the International Six Days Enduro, snatching the lead from Team USA while Italy jump into the reckoning. It was a decisive day also for Italian riders who swamped the top 10 overall, increasing their lead in the Junior World Trophy at teh same time as the United States overtake defending champions France for second.
In the Women’s World Trophy class Australia produce another winning performance to strengthen their advantage over USA with Spain in third.
The second day of ISDE competition in Chile saw riders repeat the same course as day one – in already dusty conditions the course got beaten up badly. At the head of the field, the leading riders were able to avoid the majority of the heavy dust kicked up by the four-hundred and forty-six competitors tackling six tests today.
Finishing a close second to the United States on day one, Australia upped their pace on day two. Daniel Milner and Daniel Sanders were the fastest riders in the majority of the tests, consistently turning out the times and reverse their four-second deficit into a ninety-one second advantage.
Daniel Milner was the man on day two stopping out five of the six tests as winner in conditions very familiar to the Australian champion. “Personally, today was my day and I’m happy to take the win,” continued Milner. “I was one of the first riders to start, so that made the tests a little bit easier with no dust and or slower guys to overtake. Tomorrow the plan is to remain smooth and consistent, but most importantly trouble free.”
That dust though...
Day two brought about a change to the running order with the start list dictated by the results from day one. The scratch system zapped away the riders running at a different pace, which means riders could concentrate on the test without having to overtake and deal with the associated dust. Dust was still a problem mind you.
Daniel Sanders came home second overall on day two, 17s behind his team-mate Daniel Milner. For Sanders starting at the front of the entry on the test was a bonus: “Starting at the front gave me a clean run through each of the tests and that made life easier than day one. Me and Milner got a good gap I think there now and it helped not just us but Taylor as well to gap ourselves out and give it our best shot.”
Tough luck for Snodgrass
The Australians didn’t have it all their own way though. Lyndon Snodgrass went out dramatically on test four when his engine gave up the ghost big time leaving a long push. The new system at ISDE 2018 means the best three riders count for the team so Australia are still very much in it to win it but they no longer have a buffer – another problem for either Milner, Sanders or Strang will be a big problem.
Italy up their game
The Italian’s had a hell of a day two. Six Italians finished the day in the top 12 overall with Davide Guarneri just like day one, leading the charge. The RedMoto Honda rider is on song so far in Chile and impressively setting the pace. On day two team-mate Andrea Verona pushed hard all day, finishing fifth overall, second in E1 behind Guarneri by 0.71s and best Junior rider: “I pushed hard from the first test and increased my speed from day one, that is good for me but also for the team.
“It has been a difficult day but better for me in one way because the dust was a little bit less because of my start position. This will be better again tomorrow with fifth place today it means my starting position will be good on the new tests so I am looking forward to the next days.”
USA drop over one minute
Team USA did nothing really wrong on day two except they had to contend with two fast Aussies. For the day one winner, Taylor Robert the second day’s results weren’t quite so consistent – just one test win, plus a fourth and a sixth compared to one win and five second places yesterday.
That aside, Robert says he day two was good for him: “Honestly I felt like I rode really good today but the Aussies were on it. They were pushing hard and they didn’t make any mistakes so that kind of closed up the whole gap that I put out yesterday. I think I still have the lead by a few seconds but so long as you’re in the lead right?!
“We still have a lot of racing left, a lot of technical tests and it is a long week as we all know.
Ryan [Sipes] crashed in one of the last special tests and actually hit the barrier at the finish line with his chest and knocked the wind out of himself pretty good. He lost like 40s on the last special test but we still have a long way to go.
“I’m excited about the new tracks for tomorrow because these ones got super-beat today. Tomorrow’s all fresh and hopefully get back into the groove I had yesterday.”
The overall World Trophy results show Australia have pulled clear but, to use an old cliché, there is a long way to go yet. A gap of 1m 31s between Australia and USA, plus the gap of 3m 23s back to Italy can easily change across the next four days.
France and Spain have ground to make up (Spain lost ground on day two when Jaume Betriu messed up a time control and got penalised one minute). Loic Larrieu continues to be best performing French rider and like many, looks forward to the change in scenery on days three and four to bring a change of fortune for the reigning champs.
Tayla Jones turns up the heat
In the Women’s category, Australian Tayla Jones is currently operating on another planet. Jones finished two minutes clear of her nearest rival, Livia Lancelot today. That helped put Team Australian Women’s World Trophy team over three minutes clear of USA with Spain’s women holding steady in third, albeit six minutes adrift.
Day three at ISDE Chile sees six tests (two laps with three tests) on a 300km day The terrain will change to include more technical riding with rocky riverbeds and, possibly, a little less dust.
Jon PearsonEnduro21 Editor and Bike Testerjon.firstname.lastname@example.org