Team USA Podiums at 86th International Six Days Enduro
Finland first won the International Six Days Enduro when it hosted the event for the first time in 1996. Since that initial victory, the Finns have proven it wasn’t a fluke, winning the FIM World Trophy seven times since--eight now, counting the dominating performance at the 86th ISDE held for only the second time in Finland, this time in coastal, southeastern Kotka.
From the very first special test, the Finns set the pace, one that no other team--and only a few individuals--could match. One of those individuals was Team USA’s Kurt Caselli, who would win several tests outright and top the E2 (Enduro 2 for 250cc two-strokes and 450cc four-strokes) class in leading the Americans to third place behind Finland and Spain.
“Actually, I’m real happy with the results,” he insisted after winning the final E2 motocross test on the last day to seal his bid for a second career class triumph (following his E3 [500cc two-stroke/650cc four-stroke] win in Greece in 2009). “We came here with a goal of just getting on the podium, which is usually always the first goal--just do as good as you can, but if you can be on the podium, that’s good--and I think all of us are real happy with how it turned out.”
Teammate Destry Abbott agreed, saying, “It’s nice to get on the podium again. This is our [group’s] second time, and I’m happy to pull that off. Personally, I started really well—I was running top 20 overall--and the rain just killed me; it was really tough. It was definitely, I’d rate it one of the tougher Six Days I’ve done.”
Indeed, survival counted as highly as speed at this one, and Americans demonstrated the ability to deal with adversity well. Though the overall rate of non-finishers was 28 percent, only 14 percent of the 28 Americans who started failed to finish. (Unfortunately, all three Americans of the Women’s World Trophy team DNFed, leaving France the winner in both that category and the Junior World Trophy class.) It bodes well for next year’s ISDE in Germany.