Two of the U.S. ISDE teams visited the podium in their respective classes last Saturday as the FIM International Six Days Enduro came to an end in Italy. The Women’s World Trophy team not only won gold for the U.S. but did so in spectacular fashion, beating second-place finishers Great Britain by just over 15 minutes. The U.S. World Trophy team, after running third throughout the event, maintained its third-place podium position.
The Women’s World Trophy team, made up of riders Brandy Richards, Rachel Gutish and Britney Gallegos, grabbed the lead on the very first day and stretched that lead on a daily basis. Driving the team’s success was ISDE veteran Brandy Richards, who won every test across the six days, a rare accomplishment.
“When we started walking the tests,” Richards said, “I thought, ‘you know, I think I could win every single test.’ And after the first day, I was just thinking, ‘okay…you’ve got this!’”
“I’m not crying, I just got a little champagne in my eyes,” Gutish joked from the podium. “Words can’t describe how it felt to stand on top of the podium with my team, listening to the national anthem as it finally sank in that we were the world champions.”
The U.S. World Trophy team took third place behind Italy and Spain, and the team — made up of Johnny Girroir, Taylor Robert, Layne Michael and Ryan Sipes — fought hard to maintain third the entire six days.
“[We’re] just excited to get through it and still had a pretty solid showing,” Robert said. “It’s not exactly where we wanted to be, but still showed that [we’re some] of the top guys in the world.”
Unfortunately, the U.S. Junior Trophy team, which had been running second, suffered a major loss on Day Four when racer Austin Walton had a huge crash. He finished the test, but it was later determined he had a broken scapula. The loss meant the team incurred a three-hour penalty on Days Five and Six, leaving the team 11th. However, Dante Oliveira did go on to win the final E2 moto of the event.
Joining the 10 Trophy riders this year were 21 Club Team riders, an excellent mix of seasoned veterans and brand-new faces, and the U.S. Club Teams finished in 4th, 5th, 7th, 10th, 26th, 29th and 113th.