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Australia drops to second in ISDE World Trophy, Juniors maintain lead | Back End | News

Day three of the FIM International Six Days of Enduro (ISDE) saw a major shakeup of the leader board with the United States coming out on top in Portugal.

As the ninety-fourth edition of the FIM ISDE reaches the halfway point in Portimao, the United States capitalised on a trip into the mountains, overtaking RecoveR8 Team Australia in the FIM World Trophy class.

RecoveR8 team Australia still hold the lead in the FIM Junior World Trophy category, while the United States maintain their advantage in the FIM Women’s World Trophy competition.

With day three marking the halfway point in this year’s race, the five hundred competitors from twenty-six nations embarked on a new course known as the Monchique Route. Taking them deep into southern Portugal’s highest mountain range, added rain ensured demanding conditions and a testing day for all.

The United States came strong on day three as they sought to find a weakness in RecoveR8 Team Australia. After three special tests, they were pressuring their Australian rivals with three riders making up the top-four overall positions. However, at the end of the seventh and final test Australian Daniel Sanders – Husqvarna had fought his way back to the top to win the day. But with strength in numbers, the United States’ Taylor Robert – KTM, Kailub Russell – KTM and Ryan Sipes – KTM all slotted inside the top-six to lead as a team by one-minute and twelve seconds.

“The weather has been a bit crazy – it wasn’t quite raining hard, but still made things slippery,” told Russell. “It’s been hard to hit the lines you want on the tests. But as a team we’ve come good today. We’ve come strong at the right time and with all of us having solid results it’s put us into the overall lead. We’ll sleep well tonight and fight again tomorrow.”

Matt Phillips finished 45th outright for the day and acknowledged on Instagram it was a tough day. “Had a good day 2 with some improvement, day 3 wasn’t so good to me. Scraped through with some bruises and slow test times but hoping to improve tomorrow.”

Teammates Josh Green and Luke Styke finished 25th and 12th respectively.

While RecoveR8 Team Australia did not have the best day at the office in the FIM World Trophy category, it also was not the best day for their FIM Junior World Trophy teammates. Although still holding onto the provisional class lead, they lost nearly two minutes to the United States. Taking a confidence-boosting victory on day three, the United States will now look to close the one minute and twenty second deficit to their rivals.

Lydon Snodgrass finished ninth for the day, a result he was happy with. “Day 3 was good! 9th overall for the day.. Full send tomorrow for day 4. Let’s get it, boys,” he said on Instagram.

Fraser Higlett was 16th overall and Michael Driscoll placed 24th.

The FIM Women’s World Trophy saw the leader-board change drastically behind leaders the United States. Closest rivals Germany endured a difficult day dropping from second to fifth in the standings.

RecoveR8 Team Australia took victory on day three by seven seconds over the United States, moving them up to second overall. However, losing team member Makenzie Tricker – KTM from the race means any further issues for the defending champions could prove disastrous.

“I’ve been trying to tough out a finger injury for the last few days,” explained Australian Tayla Jones – Husqvarna. “I’m glad to be on the hard-packed special tests today. We’ve done well today in the results, but losing Makenzie makes things tricky. All is not lost yet, but we can’t afford any more problems from here on out.”

Jones finished third for the day and Jessica Gardiner sixth.

After a troubled opening test, Enduro 1 category leader Josep Garcia – KTM of Spain showed his class by charging back to secure his third victory of the week. The win sees him extend his lead to nearly three minutes over Ryan Sipes. Italian Junior Andrea Verona – TM continues to impress. Third on day three, he sits just ten seconds behind Sipes in the standings. Australian Luke Styke – Yamaha is fourth, with his Junior teammate Lyndon Snodgrass – KTM fifth.

Delivering a winning ride on day three, Taylor Robert controls the proceedings in the Enduro 2 class. Battling hard with teammate Russell, Robert holds a thirty-seven second cushion over his countryman. Italy’s Davide Guarneri – Honda remains third, while Australian Fraser Higlett – Husqvarna is top Junior in fourth, followed by the United States’ Junior Ben Kelley – KTM in fifth.

There was no change in the Enduro 3 class with Daniel Sanders securing his third consecutive win. Sanders topped the category by forty-eight seconds over Great Britain’s Danny McCanney – TM. Although over five minutes behind Sanders, McCanney holds second in class, building his advantage over Italy’s Rudi Moroni – KTM to one minute and twenty-seven seconds. With both the United States’ Steward Baylor – KTM and Great Britain’s Alex Snow – Gas Gas close behind Moroni in fourth and fifth respectively, there’s still a lot to be decided in the remaining days.

While collectively Germany had a day to forget in the FIM Women’s World Trophy class, team leader Maria Franke – KTM enjoyed a winning result in the Enduro Women’s classification. In what was a fierce battle with United States’ Brandy Richards – KTM and Tayla Jones, Franke took the win by just four seconds. That result helps her close the gap to overall leader Richards to seventeen seconds. Jones remains third overall, with Jane Daniels – Husqvarna of Great Britain in fourth.

Day four of the FIM ISDE will see competitors battle another loop of the two hundred and sixty-six-kilometre-long Monchique Route.