Antoine Meo has helped propel Team France to the top of the World Trophy standings through the first three days of the 2013 ISDE in Sardinia.
The 2013 International Six Days Enduro on the island of Sardinia is half-way complete and Team France leads the FIM World Trophy Class over Team Italy and Team USA who hold second and third, respectively. In the Junior World Trophy Class, France leads over Italy and Great Britian while in Women’s Trophy competition Australia heads the pack over Canada and France.
The French team started strong on Day 1, claiming three top-10 finishing positions in the World Trophy ranks. E3 rider Antione Meo finished third-fastest, followed by E2 competitor Johnny Aubert in fourth. E2 rider Pierre Alexandre Renet took seventh helping give France an advantage of just over one minute ahead of Team USA, who finished Day 1 second overall. Taylor Robert (E2) claimed the top finishing spot for an American on Day 1, coming in sixth after scoring the win in the final test section of the day. Charlie Mullins (E2) ended in ninth while his teammate Mike Brown (E3) took 11th. Kurt Caselli (E2) and Zach Osborne (E1) placed 15th and 17th respectively. Leading the day in individual World Trophy competition was Australian rider Daniel Milner (E2).
American rider Kaliub Russell (E2) proved the fastest single rider in Junior World Trophy racing after Day 1, winning Test 4 and finishing second-place in three additional tests. Russell paced ahead of French riders Loic Larrieu (E2) and Mathias Bellino (E3), whose performance helped earn the French Junior World Trophy Team top placement overall in the class, followed by Italy and the U.S. Jesse Groemm (E2) was the second highest finisher from the American team and he crossed the line in 10th.
Women’s competition proved tough for the American squad on Day 1, and Brooke Hodges’ 12th-place result was the best the team could muster. Team Australia commanded the top-10, earning the top-two individual positions with Tayla Jones leading and Jessica Gardiner finished second. Australia lead the Women’s class after Day 1, followed by Sweden in second and France in third. Team USA fell to the back of the pack, taking sixth overall.
Taylor Robert finished as the fastest World Trophy rider from Team USA on Day 1, placing sixth.
France extended its lead in the World Trophy standings after Meo’s dominant performance, winning three test sections, taking two second-place results and one third. Milner challenged Meo the entire way but fell short near the end of the day, finishing 16 seconds behind the French rider in second-place. Meo’s teammate, Johnny Aubert (E2) took third ahead of Robert, who once again finished as the fastest American rider, this time in fourth. Mullins took sixth on Day 2 and Brown finished 11th, but another 15th for Caselli, a 28th for Osborne and a 41st for Thad DuVall dropped Team USA to third in overall standings as Australia moved into second-place.
The U.S. lost significant ground in the Junior Trophy rankings after Day 2, falling to sixth overall. Kaliub Russell was the quickest American in the class, but he finished 16th thanks in part to a two-minute penalty he incurred during the day. Jesse Groemm took 18th and Andrew DeLong (E1) finished 19th. France extended its lead in Junior World Trophy standings over Italy while Great Britain moved into third.
The U.S. Women’s Trophy team moved to fifth overall thanks to stronger showings by Rachel Gutish and Amanda Mastin. Australia continued to dominate, however, and retained the overall lead over Sweden and France.
Milner and Meo maintained their battle for the top individual spot in World Trophy action on Day 3, with Milner coming out on top a fraction of a second ahead of Meo. France remained strong overall as well, with Renet finishing the day in third-place followed by Aubert in fourth. Mullins secured seventh-place as the fastest American rider on Day 3 ahead of Robert in eighth. Brown finished 13th and Caselli notched another 15th-place result.
Though Milner was dominant individually, his team lost ground in the World Trophy standings, falling to fourth behind the U.S. Italy, on the other hand, rallied back from fifth after Day 2 to move to second overall on Day 3. The Americans remain third and trail the leaders by three and-a-half minutes.
Team USA's Mike Brown during the 2013 ISDE in Sardinia.
France remained on top in Junior Trophy competition, taking the top-two individual spots on the day with Larrieu finishing first and Bellino taking second. Russell crossed the line in seventh as the quickest U.S. rider while DeLong earned 15th, Groemm 17th and Grant Baylor (E2) 19th. The improved performance saw the U.S. team climb up the overall ranks to fourth at the conclusion of Day 3. France continues to lead overall, followed by Italy in second and Great Britain in third.
The U.S. Women’s team dropped back to sixth in the overall rankings on Day 3. Australia maintained its lead, which grew to over 10 minutes ahead of new second-placed team Canada. France remains in third-place overall at the half-way point in the six-day event.
FIM World Trophy Standings (After three days)
3. United States
FIM Junior World Trophy
3. Great Britain
4. United States
Women’s World Trophy
6. United States