Can anyone stop France winning the Trophy team competition at the 85th edition of the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE)? That is the question most are asking as the countdown to the 2010 ISDE in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico continues with the event just a few days away.
Dominating the ’09 running of the event held in Portugal the senior French team, which this year consists of newly crowned E1 – FIM Enduro World Champion Antoine Meo (Husqvarna), Johnny Aubert (KTM), Nicolas Deparrois (Kawasaki), Rodrig Thain (TM), Seb Guillaume (Husqvarna), and ’09 overall individual ISDE winner Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas), start as favourites.
Although France will be gunning for a hat-trick of victories, the ISDE can be an unpredictable race where consistency is a major player for a top result. Both Italy and Finland who line up as contenders to take the challenge to France have this trait in abundance. Italy's top players of Thomas Oldrati (KTM) and Simone Albergoni (KTM) both finished third in the E2 and E3 classes of the FIM Enduro World Championship (FWEC) this season, while Oldrati also grabbed a class win.
Finland is led by the experienced Juha Salminen (Husqvarna). Seven times a FIM Enduro World Champion and six times a winning member of the Finish ISDE squad, Salminen knows exactly what it takes to be in contention of victory by the end of the six days racing. Backing him will be Eero Remes (KTM) who must also be considered a contender for overall E1 honours having finished third in the FWEC E1 class, tied on points with Aubert.
If France start the race as favourites for the World Trophy class then Spain must be contenders for the Junior Trophy class win. Clinching victory in Portugal last year, the Spanish team start with the winning combination of Oriol Mena (Husaberg), Lorenzo Santolino (KTM), Victor Guerrero (Yamaha) and Mario Roman (KTM).
With both Santolino and Roman the 2010 FWEC Junior and Youth Cup champions respectively, along with Mena's exceptional showing as a rookie in this year's E3 class, Spain will cross this year's ISDE starting line in a much stronger position than they did twelve months ago.
Out to stop them will be France, led by Jeremy Joly (Honda). Joly is coming off a strong finish to this season's FWEC Junior class that saw him fall short of taking Santolino's title. Having won the final day of the FWEC championship in France outright, his confidence entering Mexico will no doubt be at an all time high, encouraging his team mates to take the fight to their Spanish rivals.
Having easily topped the Women's Trophy class for the last two years, France yet again arrive in Mexico as favourites led by Ludivine Puy (Gas Gas) the current FIM Women's Enduro World Champion.
The 2010 International Six Days Enduro starts on Monday, November 1 and finishes on Saturday, November 7. The event will be based in the grounds of the Nuevo Morelia Shopping Mall, which is five kilometres from the city centre. The total length of the course will be approximately one thousand three hundred kilometres. Days one and two will feature two laps of over one hundred kilometres with four time controls and four special tests each lap.
Days three and four will feature two laps of one hundred and twenty five kilometres each day, again with four time controls and four special tests per lap. The penultimate day will see competitors complete two laps with four time controls and four special tests, with the sixth and final day featuring just two time controls before riders reach the final day motocross, which will take place at the Autodromo El Aguila.
Host city Morelia is situated in the north central part of the state of Michoacan in central Mexico, and is the capital city of the state. The Spanish took control of the city in 1520 with the original settlement named Valladolid in 1541. After the Mexican War of Independence the city was renamed Morelia. In 1991 the city was named a World Heritage Site due to its preserved colonial buildings.