Bringing the ninety fifth running of the International Six Days of Enduro (ISDE) to a thrilling climax, the sixth and final day of action saw Italy do what they have looked like doing ever since the start of the event as they finally lifted the World Trophy team trophy, much to the delight of their home fans. Making it a memorable double for Italy, the host nation also topped the Junior World Trophy category, while the USA put the finishing touches to their incredible week-long performance to win in the Women’s World Trophy category.
Providing a fitting end to a memorable event, day six of the 2021 ISDE saw the three teams that have dominated this year’s event finally claim their respective class winning results. Not needing to take any unneeded risks, Italy’s Andrea Verona (GasGas), Davide Guarneri (Fantic), Thomas Oldrati (Honda), and Matteo Cavallo (TM) finally finished four minutes and forty-one seconds ahead of second placed Spain.
“Today, wasn’t the best for me, I had a bad jump from the gate in my motocross race, so I had to push hard to finish fourth,” a delighted Andrea Verona said. “But my result wasn’t too important today – what is important is that Italy won the World Trophy and Junior World Trophy classes, and I was also the fastest Enduro1 rider overall. To be an Italian and to be a part of your national team competing and winning at home, it’s incredible.”
With strong final day results from Josep Garcia (KTM) and Jaume Betriu (KTM), Spain, like Italy ahead of them, put the finishing touches to a solid week-long performance. Not quite able to match the pace of the home nation, Spain nevertheless did all they could to win, finishing as deserved runners-up.
Entering the event with hopes of claiming another World Trophy team win, the USA completed their week as the third fastest team, having not quite had the pace to challenge the two European squads ahead of them.
Sweden completed a successful ISDE campaign in fourth in the World Trophy competition, finishing closer to third-placed USA than many would have guessed at the start of the competition and comfortably ahead of fifth place Portugal. The Czech Republic, Canada, Brazil, Belgium, and Germany rounded out the top-ten World trophy Teams.
Ending their winning Junior World Trophy campaign eight minutes and thirty-one seconds ahead of second-placed France, Italy’s Lorenzo Macoritto (TM), Manolo Morettini (KTM), and Matteo Pavoni (TM) delivered a dominant team performance. Fast from the start of the event, and remaining that way day after day, despite the best efforts of France and Sweden, Italy did what they needed to do on day six and completed their amazing week.
“This week has been very good for me, and of course the team,” commented Pavoni. “I was able to start fast, which was very important. I like this terrain and that has helped me a lot. After the first few days I was more calm with my riding, no big risks. As a team we knew that we could produce a good result, and we have. We’ve had a lot of dust on some special tests this week, so taking no risks has been very important to our team the last few days. Today, we knew what we needed to do, and, well, it’s fantastic to win.”
With their World Trophy teammates enduring a rough week, France’s Junior World Trophy team kept themselves ahead of Sweden to secure a deserved runner-up result. With Italy, France, and Sweden, separated by less than ten minutes after more than thirteen hours of special test action, the three nations all did themselves proud.
Some way back from Sweden, Chile finished fourth ahead of the Czech Republic, Norway, The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and Portugal.
In the Women’s Trophy, Team USA put the finishing touches to their dominant week-long performance to complete the 2021 ISDE just over fifteen minutes ahead of second-placed Great Britain. Once again it was Brandy Richards (KTM) who stole the show, winning the women’s day six motocross race ahead of Spain’s Mireia Badia (GasGas) and Rachel Gutish (Husqvarna) and in doing so completing her amazing week with a dominant victory.
“Today’s been the cherry on an awesome ISDE cake for me, I’ve managed to win each and every special test during this year’s ISDE,” enthused Brandy after her inspiring week-long performance. “It’s what I set out to do, and I’ve done it. It’s pretty surreal, it hasn’t really sunk in yet. I really upped my training ahead of this event, and it paid off. As a team we did great, we’ve all ridden well and to win for Team USA is awesome.”
Richards herself has now been a part of two back-to-back winning teams but the overall win is a career-first for the Arizona native.
Husqvarna Motorcycles-mounted Rachel Gutish had an exceptional week, finishing fourth overall in the Women’s category, while teammate and first-time ISDE competitor Britney Gallegos remained smooth and steady throughout the week to secure 15th overall in the Women’s division. With a sizeable gap heading into the final motocross race, the U.S. Women had the title all but wrapped up and they continued to put their best foot forward on day six. Gutish, racing aboard the Husqvarna FX 350, finished a strong third in the four-lap motocross race, while Gallegos logged an impressive seventh aboard the Husqvarna FX 250.
“We’re obviously all very excited to have done so well, this week has really been a dream come true,” Gutish said.“For me, I’ve been to Six Days before but this was a new experience for me in that I came over with a team that was competitive to win. For me, getting to have that experience was beyond my wildest dreams. Standing up there on the podium while we were listening to our national anthem, words can’t describe that feeling. As far as the week, things went oddly smooth. I kept waiting for there to be some sort of catastrophe but I never had any problems on the trail. It was an uncharacteristically smooth week and I appreciated that. This is the best group of girls I’ve ever gotten to come over with. We really bonded as a team and Brandy and Britney were great, I’d love to come back with them next year.”
ISDE rookie, Britney Gallegos, made it through the weekend like a true veteran as she delivered consistent results throughout each of the six days. Getting stronger as the week went on, Gallegos finally broke into the top-10 on day five before further solidifying her presence on day six with a strong finish in the motocross race, climbing two positions in the WWT division to 15th.
“Today’s final moto was awesome, we got a fresh track so there were no lines out there and I was just kind of holding it wide and going after it,” Gallegos said. “I had a good time mixing it up with all these different girls, kind of got into a little bit of a slam but it was fun to get out there and mix it up and finish the day strong with a win for the team overall, so I’m happy.”
With no World Trophy or Junior World Trophy teams representing Great Britain, GB’s women upheld national pride and did exactly what they needed to do during the final day’s motocross races and secured a deserved runner-up overall Women’s World Trophy result. Despite eventual third place finishers Spain closing to within less than one minute of Nieve Holmes (GasGas), Jane Daniels (Fantic), and Rosie Rowett (KTM), GB’s women held firm and took the runner-up spot.
With Spain rounding out the podium, fourth went to Portugal, ahead of Sweden, Germany, Italy, and France, with France being the only team unable to get all three of their riders to the finish of the event.
Securing his first ever outright individual ISDE win, Josep Garcia (KTM) ended the 2021 ISDE as the undisputed overall fastest rider. Making his intentions of winning clear from the very beginning of the event, Garcia’s eventual winning margin was one minute and fifty-six seconds.
“This is a dream come true for me,” expressed Garcia. “To win the overall, to finish second with Spain in the World Trophy, it’s been an incredible week. Right now I am so happy, also with the pressure gone, it’s a crazy mix of emotions. When you have finished second overall twice, and you set the goal to win overall, well, there is so much that goes into trying to go one better than before. I managed it with the support of my team, it’s incredible.”
Claiming one overall day win while being the most consistent challenger to Garcia, Andrea Verona (GasGas) ended his home ISDE as second-fastest overall, followed by Mikael Persson (KTM), Matteo Cavallo (TM), and Taylor Robert (KTM).
While unable to stop Garcia concluding the event as the outright fastest rider, Andrea Verona (GasGas) was able to end his week as the fastest Enduro1 class rider. Carrying his strong world championship pace into the event, Verona took to the top of the E1 result sheets on day one and remained there throughout the event.
Delivering one of the stand-out results of the event, in placing as second-fastest E1 rider Mikael Persson (KTM) delivered Sweden’s best individual performance. Third-fastest E1 rider was Italian Lorenzo Macoritto (TM).
The competition’s fastest Enduro2 rider by virtue of being the event’s overall fastest competitor, Josep Garcia (KTM) sat comfortably ahead of his closest E2 challenger having been pushed hardest by E1 and E3 mounted riders throughout the week. Second in E2 went to USA’s Taylor Robert with Dante Oliveira (KTM) third-fastest.
FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Taylor Robert, a proud member of the winning team in 2019, came into the week with high hopes of a title defense in 2021. The U.S. squad put forth a great effort altogether, fighting inside the top-three all week to come away with third overall in the World Trophy division. Robert, who finished as the top American in five of the six days aboard his KTM 450 XC-F, came away with second-overall in the E2 class, finishing just behind Spain’s Josep Garcia (KTM) in the class. The former ISDE individual overall winner also claimed fifth outright after the week’s racing.
“All-in-all, I ended up fifth overall in the scratch results, second in E2 and the team ended up third, so I mean not a terrible week but not exactly where I wanted to be,” Robert said. “I’m excited to be leaving healthy and have more experience for the team.”
Dante Oliveira had his best performance of the week on day six, as he topped the final E1 motocross race aboard the KTM 450 XC-F.Also charging his way up to 10th in the overall standings, Oliveira placed third in the Junior World Trophy division with a strong ride in Italy.
“I’m pumped on a 10th overall and third in the Junior division,” Oliveira said. “I started off slow in the first couple days but was able to finish strong with the moto win.”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Austin Walton had a solid start to the week as he helped the U.S. Junior World Trophy Team battle into second over after the first three days of racing. However, Walton suffered a big crash on the fourth day, forcing him to pull out with a broken scapula. As a result of the penalties associated with losing a rider, the U.S. team was no longer in contention for the overall standings but JWT riders Dante Oliveira (KTM) and Cody Barnes (Honda) both finished the week out strong with respectable results.
Finishing fourth-fastest overall, Italy’s Matteo Cavallo (TM) posted the fastest overall Enduro3 result, also ending the event as the highest-placed two-stroke competitor. Cavallo’s Italian teammate Matteo Pavoni (TM) placed second-fastest in E3, also finishing as the highest overall Junior World Trophy rider. Third went to Spain’s Jaume Betriu (KTM).
In the Manufacturer’s Team Award, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing topped the results with their trio of Josep Garcia (KTM), Taylor Robert (KTM), and Dante Oliveira (KTM). Second went to the all-Italian trio of TM Boano Factory’s Matteo Pavoni (TM), Lorenzo Macoritto (TM), and Matteo Cavallo (TM).
Showing that nothing is over until after the final day motocross races are completed, in the Club team competition, Team Ostra Enduro 1 leapfrogged ahead of day five class leaders MC Sebino to take the win. Twenty seconds behind going into the final motocross races, come the end of the final day they sat at the top of the results and just over one-minute up on MC Sebino. Third went to MX Pavia Senior.
Day six brought a fitting climax and close to the 2021 FIM ISDE.
International Six Days Enduro (ISDE)
95th ISDE: August 31-September 4 — Italy
World Trophy Team Overall
Women's World Trophy Team Overall
Junior World Trophy Team Overall
Main image courtesy of KTM Images/Future7Media