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The International Six Days Enduro

By Robert Rousseau,
The International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) is an 'off road' motorcycle event that the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) recognizes. In fact, it is the oldest of all off road motorcycle events on the FIM calendar.

By old we mean that it all started in Carlisle, England in 1913. Still, that tells you very little about the event, does it not? Hence, in order to appreciate what happened at this year's competition, it might be nice to know a little more.

The History of the International Six Days Enduro

Back when it first appeared in 1913, the International Six Days Enduro was actually called the International Six Day Trial. However, in 1980 it took on the name that it still holds today.

In essence, those first motorcycle events were held on the roads of that particular time period; today the event is more realistically off road. That said the International Six Days Enduro always was and continues to be a true test of driver and vehicle.

Up until 1974, the event was always held in Europe ( again, back then it was called the International Six Day Trial ). However, in 1974 it was held on a different continent for the first time ( in the United States ). Since that time the International Six Days Enduro has been held in Australia, Brazil, and New Zealand.

What is the International Six Days Enduro?

The event spans six days- hence, the six days in the title- and around 1,250 miles. The rules are quite strict in regard to time and stops.

In essence, the International Six Days Enduro is the Olympics of off road cycling.

Along with this, the event offers gold, silver, and bronze medals to individuals. Further, trophies are awarded at a team level for best national, junior national, club, and manufacturing teams.

The individual medals, however, are not awarded in the same fashion that Olympic medals are. Rather, they are given based on percentage of finishers ( or relative to the top performance ). Thus, the most recent event- held in New Zealand in 2006- gave gold medals to participants who finished within 10% of their classes' top racer's total time. Silver medals were given to those that fell within 50% of this benchmark, and all remaining finishers were given bronze medals.

Speaking of the most recent event. . .

The 2006 International Six Days Enduro

The 2006 International Six Days Enduro was held in Lake Taupo, New Zealand. This was a noteworthy destination for several reasons. First, Lake Taupo is a crystal blue lake surrounded by lush forests and pine trees. Further, it sits in the North Island's Volcanic Plateau with the mountains of Ruapehu, Tongariro, and Ngaruaho in the background.

In other words, it was a beautiful choice for the 81st International Six Days Enduro due to its unique blend of outdoor components. All of this, of course, made for a highly interesting ride.

In the end, though, Finland took first place in the Trophy Team standings with France and Spain taking second and third respectively. The United States fell in at tenth overall.

Individual Performances

E1 class - Juha Salminen of Finland took home first with a time of 2:31:19.08. American Ricky Dietrick came close enough to net a gold medal.

E2 class - Samuli Aro came in first with a time of 2:34:15.10, while Americans Jimmy Jarrett and Russell Bobbitt took home gold. Snohomish, Washington native Michael Bronn nabbed a silver medal in this class.

E3 class - Marko Tarkkala of Finland came in first with a time of 2:37:24.63, while Americans David Pearson and Paul Neff took home gold medals.

However, there was some good news on the team front for American riders as well. The United States took first in the Junior Trophy Team standings ( for riders under the age of 23 ). Taking up after them were France and Australia, respectively.

Thus, the International Six Days Enduro that took place in Lake Taupo, New Zealand from November 14-19 was a major success. On a national front, it's nice to see that the younger Americans did so well.

May be a sign of bigger things on the horizon.

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