Bad luck hampered Team USA last year resulting in a second-place at the International Six Days Enduro but with a stacked team for this year's competition that starts Monday in Slovakia it could be the best chance to bring home the first ever World Team Trophy.
The 2015 ISDE Team USA squad consists of Kailub Russell, Taylor Robert, Thad Duvall, Ryan Sipes, Mike Brown and Gary Sutherlin, who is replacing the injured Charlie Mullins. Sipes is new to the team but the rest competed last year and know what it takes to win. Sutherlin faced off in the Club division last year.
The ISDE, also known as the Olympics of Motorcycling, started in 1913 as the International Six Days Trial which changed to its current name in 1981. Riders obey strict rules over the six day enduro-style race that can extend 1,250 miles. ISDE racing categories include the primary six-rider World Trophy class and the four-rider Junior Trophy class.
The 2015 USA team brings plenty of off-road experience as Russell currently leads the 2015 Grand National Cross Country series where he is likely to wrap up his third straight Championship at the end of the month. Duvall is third in the series and Sipes is fifth.
Team USA placed second to France in 2014 but mechanical problems and a crash hurt their effort. Teams get to drop their worst score of the six days of competition which USA implemented on Day 1 last year. Zach Osborne's bike failed which knocked him out of competition so that forced everyone to bring perfection the rest of the week.
Mullins crashed on Day 2 with USA in the lead and the next day Robert's bike failed to start after sucking in dirt. Nine minutes passed before he got back to riding after a bump start and thanks to the crash the day before they started in fourth-place 10 minutes back from first. But they managed to battle back and secure second, nine minutes back from first to end the competition.
"In the end we were all happy to come away with second in a week full of ups and downs," Russell said after the event.
Last year's second place was Team USA's best ever result. Grant Baylor, Steward Baylor, Trevor Bollinger and Justin Jones took first for the team in the Junior Trophy class which ended a drought dating to 2006 when the late Kurt Caselli was on the team. Both Baylors and Jones are back to defend their trophy along with Layne Michael who replaces Bollinger. The Junior Trophy class consists of riders younger than 23.
The 2015 ISDE starts Monday and continues through September 12.
2014 World Trophy Results
- Team France - (19:33:21.56)
- Team USA - (19:43:07.78)
- Team Spain - (20:28:47.28)
- Team Germany - (20:38:56.28)
- Team Argentina - (28:14:19.62)
- Team Australia - (39:01:22.42)
- Team Chile - (39:30:53.76)
- Team Canada - (42:01:18.59)
- Team Belgium - (44:54:42.27)
Written By: AndrewT