In winning the E3 (>450cc) division outright for the second year in a row, Daniel ‘Colonel’ Sanders may not have been able to save his team, but he did provide something for Aussie supporters to celebrate – in addition to the girls’ historic win.
With French Federation bureaucrats denying their riders the opportunity to participate – a kind of protest over last year’s disputed results – Australia and the USA appeared set to duke it out for the 2016 World Trophy. Australia’s Josh Strang was the only bloke to have bested Kailub Russell in the 2016 GNCC, however, their ongoing duel ended on the very first morning in Navarra. Strang upended his Husqvarna FE450 – or vice versa – which resulted in a shattered heel bone and an early end to his GNCC season. “It was a small crash,” reported a dispirited Strang, “but a big cost for me and Team Australia.”
Under the revised ISDE regulations, the rule of dropping each team’s worst results each day is no longer applied. Without a full team of four riders there’s no chance of a result, and Australia was the first team to suffer under the new rules, doubly so when Dan Milner retired with injury on day two. This takes nothing away from Team America whose four riders – Kailub Russell, Taylor Robert, Thad Duvall and, last-minute replacement for Ryan Sipes, Michael Layne – demonstrated that consistency is the key to ISDE success. It was their first trophy since their inaugural participation back in the 1980s.
Sanders won only three special tests and finished in the top three every day, yet the test in which he dropped 22 seconds to Spain’s Josep Garcia Montaña is the one he remembers.
“Winning the E3 division again was awesome. Today I didn’t get a good jump off the gate and it buried me mid-pack. We only rode for eight minutes and it was the most intense eight minutes you could ride.”
His teammate Lachlan Stanford would agree, as a crash in the final moto finished a tough week for the Husqvarna 250 rider, though at least he finished on the bike to earn a commendable 12th and a few lessons for the future.
1. United States 13h 46m 40.93s
2. Great Britain 13h 50m 19.59s
3. Czech Republic14h 16m 23.27s
22. Australia 16h 36m 04.85s
DID YOU KNOW?
THE United States was the 14th nation to win the ISDE, yet it was their influence that had the event amend its title from Six Day Trial to Six Day Enduro back in 1981. Great Britain has won 16 times, as has Germany, but only if you count pre-WWII Germany, East Germany and West Germany as one and the same. No nation from Africa or South America has stood on the podium, but that will surely happen soon.