News 18 Oct 2009

Off-Road: Australia Seniors pipped for third, France wins ISDE


The Wellard Australian Senior Trophy Team has been pipped for third spot by less than 13 seconds by Finland at the 2009 International Six Days Enduro in Figueira da Foz, Portugal.

Heading into the final day and Motocross test, Australia was sitting in third spot with a two minute lead over the Finns.

The task to secure a podium spot was made harder on day five with Stefan Merriman breaking his scapula and being forced out of the event – meaning that all five team riders needed to have their scores counted on the last day.

Despite some quick times from Toby Price and Glenn Kearney, the Aussie team were just outdone on the GP Motocross circuit in front of a huge crowd.

Price recorded the 15th fastest time of the final test to end his first ISDE event in 14th Outright and seventh in the E2 class.

Chris Hollis was the next best placed Australian rider – a solid Motocross test saw him retain 23rd Outright at the event, and finishing the E1 class in an admirable fifth place.

Kearney registered the 21st fastest time of the day to end the event in 26th Outright – a marvellous achievement given that he was in 49th after day one, and 40th at the end of the second day. Kearney ended up ninth in the E2 class.

One spot behind Kearney in the 27th Outright was the ever reliable Jarrod Bewley – he finished in 12th overall in the E2 class, while Kirk Hutton finished the six days in 53rd (16th in E1).

Geoff Braico was the shining light in a disappointing event for the Wellard Australian Junior Trophy Team at the 2009 International Six Days Enduro in Figueira da Foz, Portugal.

After Josh Green was forced to retire on day one of the event, things had been on the improve for the Junior Team before day six bought it down to earth with a bang.

Heading into the final day in seventh position on the standings, the Aussies finished up 13th of the 15 teams competing, with major dramas for two of our other three riders.

Nick Beattie had some troubles after the morning trail ride and spent time fixing his bike before presenting it at the time-check ahead of the final test. Unfortunately he was late in and incurred a two minute penalty.

That was the least of his concerns – after getting his bike to the start line, he could not get it to start, and was forced out of the final test.

Andrew Lloyd, who had been storming up the Outright rankings after some bad luck on day one, had a major crash during his race and was taken by ambulance to hospital.

Early reports indicate that he has not broken anything and will make a full recovery.

The shining light on the Junior Trophy Team was the performance of Geoff Braico, who ended the event in 46th position Outright, and 13th in the E3 class.

Braico turned 21 years old during the event, and as a recently crowned Australian Off Road Champion, has a bright future ahead of himself.

Australia’s Wellard Women’s Team has taken out third place and a position on the podium at the 2009 International Six Days Enduro, held in Figueira da Foz, Portugal.

Coming into day six with a solid gap on fourth place, Australia just needed two of its three riders to complete the Women’s Motocross race to be assured of the podium finish.

In a reversal of the scores that were retained for most of the week, Jacquie Jones was the best placed Australian rider finishing fifth in the moto, with Alison Parker taking sixth spot and Jemma Wilson in ninth.

The result means that Australia’s first ever Women’s Team to represent the green and gold at the ISDE will return home with silverware.

Wilson ended the event in fourth Outright in the Women’s Class, with Parker finishing fifth and Jones ending up in 10th.

It has been a long journey getting the team together – MA ran a specific ISDE training camp in February in New South Wales for eight hopeful riders, who then went on to compete at the Australian Four Day Enduro.

The hard work and continued development of female Enduro riding in Australia has certainly now paid off, and the riders will come having been handed the ultimate off-road racing lesson.

The Women’s Team will have a hard job ahead to defend its podium position when the 2010 event takes place next year in Mexico.