After much anticipation, this year’s FIM ISDE got underway in Portimao. Overnight rain dampened conditions for competitors during the opening lap of two, but from the off racing was hot and heavy as the five hundred plus competitors from twenty six nations jostled for position.
Determined to put RecoveR8 Team Australia out front, Daniel Sanders – Husqvarna was quick off the mark, setting the fastest time on the opening special test. But with United States’ Ryan Sipes and Spain’s Josep Garcia in close contention and the top-ten separated by just fifteen seconds, it was all to play for.
“I wanted to start strong, there’s a lot of big names here this year and I wanted to put myself up there right away. Honestly, I didn’t expect to lead by so much, but it means I’m in a good place and I will look to build on that while helping to grow our FIM World Trophy lead.”
Continuing to position himself at the sharp end of the results, Sanders led his Australia teammates to victory on day one in Portugal. However, with United States ending the day only nineteen seconds behind, their lead is relatively slender at this early stage in the race.
“First day done. Bit offf pace that I know I can do, just gonna get the bike settled and should be able to grow from here. We are leading the world trophy and so are the Junior guys, waiting to hear about the girls, but I think pretty strong finish all-round.. Having some fun so that’s the main thing.”
Mirroring the finishing order of the 2018 FIM ISDE, Italy slot into third, albeit already over two minutes behind the leading nations. Despite losing a rider early on, Great Britain battled hard on the opening day of racing.
Hampered by starting at the rear of the category and the untimely exit of Freeman, they still placed fourth. With an improved starting position for day two, they will look to build on that.
So too will Finland. Also hampered by a late start, the Finnish team ended their day fifteen seconds behind Great Britain in fifth, while Spain – boosted by Garcia’s performance – complete the top six. Host nation Portugal lie tenth after the opening day of competition.
World Trophy Day 1 Overall
Junior World Trophy
In the FIM Junior World Trophy category, RecoveR8 Team Australia enjoyed an impressively strong start to their FIM ISDE campaign. With two of their riders Fraser Higlett and Lyndon Snodgrass placing inside the top-ten overall, they hold a healthy one-minute and fourteen second lead over United States.
Also performing strongly, United States will look to bridge that gap to their rivals on day two. France — spurred on by Theo Espinasse claiming the outright quickest time on special test three — slot into third. A slow start to their week sees defending champions Italy sit four seconds behind France in fourth. Great Britain end day one in fifth, while Spain complete the top six.
Junior World Trophy Day 1 Overall
Women’s World Trophy
The opening day of racing in Portimao excitedly saw a major shakeup in the FIM Women’s World Trophy competition with Germany holding a slender advantage over United States, while defending champions RecoveR8 Team Australia were a surprise third.
Quick to make their presence felt in this year’s race, Germany have shown they will be a force to be reckoned with. Strong rides from Anne Borcher and Maria Franke puts them five seconds ahead of closest rivals United States.
One minute behind the leading duo in third, Australia will aim to regain some lost time on day two. Making their FIM ISDE debut, Great Britain have got off to a solid start in fourth, with Spain fifth. Sweden round out the top six on day one.
Women’s World Trophy Day 1 Overall
In the Enduro 1 category it is Josep Garcia who tops the standings on day one. Winning the final four special tests, Garcia holds a thirty-eight second lead over Ryan Sipes, who in turn holds an eighteen second advantage over Finland’s Eero Remes – Yamaha in third.
French Junior Espinasse impresses with fourth. The Sherco mounted rider is two seconds behind Remes and less than one second up on Australia’s Luke Styke in fifth.
Enduro 1 Day 1 – Top 10
United States’ Taylor Robert is out to an early lead in the Enduro 2 class. However, with thirty-seven seconds separating the top six, the category is closely contested.
Ending day one just six seconds behind his teammate, Kailub Russell will look to close that gap tomorrow.
Consistently placing inside the top six, Higlett signs off on the opening day of competition in third, while Italy’s Davide Guarneri is fourth.
United States’ Junior rider Ben Kelley – KTM is fifth with Recover8 Team Australia’s Josh Green three-seconds adrift in sixth.
“Solid day but a few too many mistakes from me hindered my result. Team Aus is leading both Jnr and Trophy teams, all the team was on it, keen for tomorrow.”
Enduro 2 Day 1 – Top 10
Claiming the overall lead on day one, Sanders powers his way to a commanding lead in the Enduro 3 category.
With a clean sweep of all seven special tests, the Husqvarna rider is one-minute and forty-seven seconds clear of Italy’s Rudy Moroni in second.
Moroni however has less breathing room with a determined Steward Baylor of the United States twelve seconds behind.
On a charge, Great Britain’s Alex Snow and Danny McCanney are less than three-seconds adrift of Baylor in fourth and fifth respectively.
Germany’s Angus Heidecke completes the top six in Enduro 3.
Enduro 3 Day 1 – Top 10
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The battle for top honours in the Enduro Women’s category sees Brandy Richards place fifteen second clear of Maria Franke in second.
Australia’s Tayla Jones is three seconds in front of Great Britain’s Jane Daniels, while Australia’s Jessica Gardiner and Anne Borchers complete the top six.
Enduro Women’s Day 1 – Top 10
The FIM ISDE continues on day two with a repeat of day one’s three-hundred kilometre Menhir Route.