U.S. World Trophy Teams Battle For Early Lead at 2019 ISDE in Portugal

TimeTuesday, November 12, 2019 | 10:50 AM

PORTIMAO, Portugal – The 2019 FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) kicked off on Monday in Portimao, Portugal and the U.S. World Trophy Teams are off to a great start as they each sit second overall in their respective categories after day one of racing.

WORLD TROPHY TEAM (WT)
As a team, the U.S. World Trophy riders hold a favorable position in the overall running as they sit only 19 seconds back from Team Australia. KTM-mounted rider Ryan Sipes led the U.S. WT effort on day one as he rode to three top-three finishes to grab ahold of third overall early in the six-day event. Sipes had a crash in test three that knocked him back to 12th but he quickly bounced back with two top-10 finishes and a third-place to round out the day.

Sipes: “My first two tests were great and then the third test would have been really good but I crashed. The sand tests were so rough and I’m not a great sand rider, so I was just kind of being a little careful in those because I just don’t have the speed.”

FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Taylor Robert sits just behind Sipes in fourth overall after claiming a consistent string of top-10 finishes on the day. His teammate, Kailub Russell, sits only six seconds back in fifth overall with three top-five finishes under his belt. KTM-supported rider Steward Baylor Jr. didn’t have the strongest start to the week as he finished outside the top-20 for a majority of the day.

JUNIOR WORLD TROPHY TEAM (JWT)
The U.S. Junior World Trophy Team also sits in second place, just over a minute behind the Australian team after day one. FMF KTM Factory Racing’s newest team member, Ben Kelley, leads the way for the U.S. squad with fifth overall in the JWT classification. In addition to three top-20 finishes, Kelley had a standout performance in test three with third overall.  

KTM-support rider Grant Baylor finished eighth-best in the JWT classification with a handful of solid finishes, where he ended the day on a high note with fifth overall in the final test. FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Josh Toth had a challenging day but he looks to bounce back on day two.

WOMEN’S WORLD TROPHY TEAM
The Women’s World Trophy Team is off to a strong second-place start with KTM-support rider Brandy Richards at the helm. Richards topped the day one Women’s classification by 15 seconds over German rider Maria Franke as the U.S. begins a close battle with the German team – sitting only five seconds back in the team classification. 

Richards: “I actually had a lot of fun out there today. The first little bit I was making mistakes and I had a couple falls but our second lap around I was much more consistent, and I stayed up more and just had a lot of fun. I think tomorrow will be a really fun time.”

KTM-support rider Becca Sheets sits eighth overall in the Women’s classification after finishing a majority of the day’s tests inside the top-10. Sheets took 11th and 13th in the first two tests before coming into her groove with 8-10-10-5-6 finishes for the remainder of the day.

Tarah Gieger (HON) struggled with consistency on day one, where she finished as high as sixth and as far back as 19th.

Racing from the 2019 International Six Days Enduro will resume on Tuesday, November 12 with day two of six from Portimao, Portugal. For a list of complete results, please visit http://www.fim-isde-live.info.

World Trophy Classification (After Day 1 of 6)
1. Australia, 2:20:03.19
2. USA, +19.53
3. Italy, +2:03.59
4. Great Britain, +2:23.91
5. Finland, +2:38.75

Junior World Trophy Classification (After Day 1 of 6)
1. Australia, 2:22:17.73
2. USA, +1:14.10
3. France, +2:04.48
4. Italy, +2:08.91
5. Great Britain, +3:15.87 

Women’s World Trophy Classification (After Day 1 of 6)
1. Germany, 1:45:38.59
2. USA, +5.45
3. Australia, +1:02.66
4. Great Britain, +1:57.14
5. Spain, +4:46.01