Day one of the 2018 FIM International Six Day Enduro (ISDE) has been left in the Chilean dust, and Team Australia remains a strong and dominant force in all classes.
Day one and two saw riders tackle the aptly named Pacific Challenge, with contrasting elements of picturesque views and dusty, slippery conditions.
Setting off early Monday morning, Team Australia was amongst the 446 competitors from 25 nations to kickstart six days of world-class Enduro racing. Along the Pacific Challenge, riders completed two demanding laps and a total of six sandy and technical special tests, travelling a total of 284 kilometres.
World Trophy Team
At the conclusion of day one the Australian World Trophy Team has finished an undeniable high, sitting in second position overall in the World Trophy Class underneath Team USA who have taken out top position, with less than five seconds separating the two teams. Day one also saw Team Australia score three positions in the top 15 with Daniel Sanders finishing the day with a fastest time of 54:42.00, winning the first test of the event which earned him second place overall. Sanders sits just under 22 seconds behind the current leader, Robert Taylor from Team USA. Teammate Daniel Milner took out the third and last podium position, with a fastest time of 54:49.82 and winning the second and fourth test of the day. Milner sits just over seven seconds behind Sanders and will no doubt use tomorrow to put the heat on Team USA and close in on the current time different. Rounding the top 15 was Joshua Strang, who locked in a fastest time of 55:42.62. Lyndon Snodgrass came up against challenges throughout day one, earning 26th position overall with a fastest time of 56:03.17.
Sanders spoke to Motorcycling Australia regarding today’s efforts, noting; “I started off day one really well, getting the first overall test win. Personally, I did some good test times but struggled in the dust especially with it being the first day and there being a lot of traffic. Milner and I fought through that though, and the two of us rode really well individually as well, leading the team to second position. We have a clean run tomorrow so hopefully we can make up some time on the Americans!”
Women’s World Trophy Team
Making their resounding mark on the competition was the Australian Women’s World Trophy Team, who dominated throughout the day to maintain a stronghold on first place overall. Australia is followed by Team USA, but thanks to our three riders Australia had produced a substantial 90 second lead. Fastest time for the team and the class was Tayla Jones, who clocked in the fastest time of 1:01:11.25 winning five out of the six tests. Coming in hot on Jones’ heels was debutant Mackenzie Tricker, who scored third place overall, clocking in a fastest time of 1:02:17.17 and coming in second in four of the six tests. Jessica Gardiner scored 8th position overall in the class, with a fastest time of 1:04:08.46.
Upon reflecting on today’s events and her leading position in the Women’s World Trophy Class, Jones stated:
“I had a pretty good day overall! The tracks are very dry and dusty and they dug out really quick – a lot quicker than I thought – so it made it really challenging. Today I crashed and lost a fair bit of time but all in all it went pretty well! Overall I’m pretty happy to hold the lead and hopefully we can stay upright tomorrow!”
Junior World Trophy Team
The Australian Junior World Trophy Team proved that they can hold their own, with all three team members scoring a place in the top 50 which has scored Australia fifth place. Ausrtralia now sits roughly three seconds off fourth position, which is currently held by the hosting nation, Chile. Australia’s juniors will use day two to diminish the distance with Chile, and work to climb the leader board currently held by Italy, France and USA respectively. Fraser Higlett leads the charge for the juniors, clocking a fastest time of 56:26.19 and scoring 41st position overall. Tom Mason earnt 43rd position overall with a fastest time of 57:11.96, and Andrew Wilksch rounding out the team’s efforts with a fastest time of 57:07.31 and landing 47th position.
Higlett was really impressed with the team’s strength in day one, stating:
“It was a pretty good day today but the tracks were super dusty. It was tough starting back behind other riders but I made up some positions and the team came home strong by the end of the day. We’re all really consistent, so we’re hoping to maintain it over the remaining five days. Tomorrow should be easier – with hopefully less dust – and I shouldn’t have to pass as many riders to climb the leader board!”