The 85th edition of the FIM International Six Day Enduro (ISDE) got underway beneath clear blue skies and a burning hot sun in Morelia, Mexico, on Monday.
As the clock turned to 800 hours exactly, the first three riders left the starting ramp under the order of the state governor. From the hill top parc ferme the riders headed off into the distance to start the first of six days of competition. Including nine special tests the opening day proved a challenging, and largely dry and dusty, one.
The three Kiwis in action – Mokau’s Adrian Smith, Paeroa’s Chris Power and Auckland’s Karl Power making up the Wellard Yamaha Club Team – each finished the day near the top of their respective club classes.
After day one, Smith and Chris Power are running third and fourth respectively in the C1 class (for 100cc to 125cc 2-stroke and from 175cc to 250cc 4-Strokes), while Karl Power is running second overall in the C2 class (for 175cc to 250cc 2-Stroke and from 290cc to 450cc 4-stroke bikes).
However, as expected it was France that topped the Trophy Team results at the end of the opening day’s competition. With their six-man team boasting E1 World champion Antoine Meo (Husqvarna), 2009 overall ISDE winner Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas), and 2009 Enduro 2 World champion (KTM) they placed two-and-a-half minutes ahead of second-placed team Italy.
Johnny Aubert (KTM) led the team during the opening day as he dominated the proceedings in the Enduro 2 class. Finishing one-minute ahead of his nearest competitor Aubert showed that he is going to be a force to be reckoned with during the event. Three of the top four Enduro 2 class riders were French, with Rodrig Thain placing second and Nicolas Deparrois fourth – their combined results helping France start the event exactly as many expected them to. Meo finished as a close runner-up in the E1 class, with Seb Guillaume (Husqvarna) and Nambotin second and eighth respectively in E3.
Behind France it was Italy and Finland rounding out the top three. Team USA placed fourth ahead of Poland and Chile.
In the Junior Trophy Team category Spain took an early lead as they look to repeat their 2009 success. Helped massively by the performance of Oriol Mena (Husaberg) who was the fastest rider in the Enduro 3 class, the team finished close to two minutes ahead of Sweden. Another Spanish rider delivering a strong result was Victor Guerrero (Yamaha) in the Enduro 1 class.
Placing fifth and only 27 seconds behind E1 winner Eero Remes, Guerrero was followed by countryman Mario Roman (KTM) who finished 11th and as one of the highest placed two-stroke riders in the E1 class. The team’s fourth member, Lorenzo Santolino (KTM), ended the opening day in twelfth in the E2 category. In following the Spanish team home Sweden delivered a strong, and somewhat unexpectedly impressive, start to the event. Third was France with Finland fourth and USA fifth.
Opening up a commanding lead at the head of the Women’s Cup was France. Last year’s winners finished over four minutes ahead of Germany with Ludivine Puy (Gas Gas) producing the fastest individual women’s performance. Third went to Sweden with USA fourth.
AFTER DAY ONE:
© Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com