Walking tests isn’t fun, especially when
it’s over 100 degrees, but Ryan Sipes—
last year’s overall individual winner at
the ISDE in Slovakia—trudges along
one of the tests with his teammates. As
Taylor Robert has discovered doing the
EWCs this year, you may have to walk
each test three or four times and even
in some cases five times!
Steward Baylor reviews the times for
one test. Antti Kallonen (right) and
team mechanic Robbie Goolsby (not
shown) recorded the times for each
rider in each test.
After finishing his tire flip on the second day, Kailub Russell rushes to get
the wheel back on the bike. That’s
another “trick” that Taylor Robert
learned this year in the EWCs. Since
you’re not allowed to change tires until
the end of the day, flipping it provides a
somewhat fresher leading edge on the
knobs. If the top Euros are doing it, we
probably should as well.
day, with a 5 a.m. breakfast and getting ready to ride by 6.
Over the years he has tweaked things; this year he had a
loop that featured three separate tests to ride and had the
riders do them a total of three laps during the day. After
completing a lap on the second day, he had two riders
perform a quick tire “flip” in order to get a sharper leading
edge on the knobs again. Robert reports that’s what they’re
doing in the EWC nowadays. The rules prohibit changing a
tire until the end of the day, so flipping it during the day is
seen as the answer, with Team USA now following suit.
After three intense days, everyone had a much better
idea of what to practice between now and Six Days, as well
as the personalities that’ll make up the team. Will the U.S.
World Trophy team finally be able to ascend to the top step
of the podium after another trying ISDE? Kallonen believes
they are: “They are much more ready than ever before.” ❏
The others, however, are primarily racing series that
reward endurance more than speed in a 10-minute special
test—though a few are doing the Kenda Full Gas Sprint
Enduros, which definitely mimic Six Days racing. But it’s the
other stuff that’s really needed to complete the picture for
Team USA’s hopefuls. As Russell pointed out, all the guys
know how to ride a dirt bike. It’s just a matter of changing
their training before Six Days to emphasize sprint speed.
There are some other things, including intangibles, that
team manager Antti Kallonen continued to focus on as he
refines the camps. “I’m just trying to bring them out of their
comfort zone and push them a little bit harder [than they’d
do alone],” he revealed. “The second day [of camp] would
be like a day four [at Six Days].”
Due to typical Arizona summer heat with temperatures
over 100 degrees, Kallonen got things started early each
Max Gerston jets off the start of a
special test. Though not part of the
team going to Spain, he and Gary
Sutherlin helped lay out the tests,
then were the first two on course in
order to burn in each circuit a bit.
ISDE TRAINING CAMP