Argentina played host to the International Six Days Enduro held Nov 3-8 where Team USA grabbed second just 10 minutes back from now three-time defending champion France.
The ISDE, also known as the Olympics of Motorcycling, started in 1913 as the International Six Day 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.
Team USA in the World Trophy class consisted of Kailub Russell, Charlie Mullins, Zach Osborne, Thad Duvall, Michael Brown and Taylor Robert. Despite a number of miscues and just plain bad luck, Team USA had the lead but lost it, got within six minutes of first place on Day 5 and by the end of competition on Day 6 beat third-place Spain by 45 minutes. Russell, the two-time defending Grand National Cross Country series Champion, took third-place overall individually.
"I was able to stay consistent all week but as a team we were dealt a lot of bad luck," Russell said.
2014 ISDE Podium with Team USA in top left - All Photos: fim-isde2014.com
On Day 1, Osborne's bike failed knocking him out of competition. Since teams get to drop their worst score of the six days, Day 1 got scratched but that meant everyone needed solid rides the rest of the week. On Day 2, with Team USA leading, Mullins crashed dropping the team to fourth-place 10 minutes back from first. On Day 3, the team got back into second-place just six minutes from the lead when Roberts' bike sucked in some dirt and failed to start. Team USA lost nine more minutes before a bump start got Roberts back riding.
"In the end we were all happy to come away with second in a week full of ups and downs," Russell said. "It's an awesome race that's a different format than anything in the states. With a little luck hopefully we can get the job done next year."
The second-place World Trophy class finish was team USA's best ever showing in the ISDE. Team USA took first in the Junior Trophy class with Grant Baylor, Steward Baylor, Trevor Bollinger and Justin Jones riding. Team USA last won the Junior Trophy in 2006 when the late Kurt Caselli was on the team. Team France took second and Team Australia grabbed third in the Junior class.
World Trophy Overall Results (Time)
- 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)