Team USA Wins World Trophy Cup At ISDE in Spain

The US World Trophy Team makes history at the International Six Days Enduro in Navarra, Spain!

ISDE podium
At the 91st running of the ISDE, in Spain, this was the World Trophy Team podium. USA, Great Britain, and the Czech Republic.Photo: Pete Peterson

It was an historical ISDE for Team USA by winning the World Trophy Team division in for the first time. It was the 91st running of the event, and though Team USA had finished in second place in the premiere division three times before, in 1982 in the Czech Republic, in 2013 in Sardinia, and in 2014 in Argentina, it was the 2016 team of Taylor Robert, Kailub Russell, Thad DuVall, and Layne Michael that earned Team USA the World Trophy for the first time.

When the day started the US squad had built up a 3:43.62 advantage going into the Motocross Test, the only test of the day. That’s a big lead, but anything can happen when the men and machines have been racing for five days straight. The Test is a single moto, with first the clubs, then Vintage, then Women, then the World teams, with Junior and World riders combined. Layne Michael (E1 World) and Trevor Bollinger (E1 Junior) raced first. Lane got a poor start and was mid pack when the start section dropped the riders onto to the hard and extremely slick track built on the hill at the Circuite de Navarra. Layne played it safe and moved forward without panic to finish sixth, but the Great Britain World rider Nathan Watson won the moto, so USA lost 20.37of its lead.

Taylor Robert at ISDE
Taylor Robert crosses the line to win the moto, the day, and the individual overall.Photo: Pete Peterson

When the E2 moto that had Taylor Robert, Kauilb Russell, Stu Baylor, and Grant Baylor hit the track, Taylor was in second place, with Kailub back close to being outside the top ten. Taylor quickly got into the lead and pulled out a good gap on the field, while Kailub made his way forward to fourth. Both riders looked comfortable and in control on the challenging ground. When the checkered flag flew, Taylor won with a time of 9:29.18, and Kailub finished with 9:40.11, The Great Britain riders (and brothers) Daniel and Jamie McCanney finished fourth and thirteenth with finishing times, in total, 7.05 seconds slower than the US riders.

Thad DuVall at ISDE
Thad DuVall was in the final moto, and when he crossed the line, the team knew it had won the overall.Photo: Pete Peterson

So Team USA’s lead was at three and a half minutes when the final moto of the event took to the track, the E3 class. Team USA’s rider, Thad DuVall, could assure the victory so long as he didn’t get any major trouble with the other riders or with bike issues. Meanwhile Daniel Sanders of Australia was gunning for the overall, and need to finish better than 12.1 seconds faster than Taylor Robert’s time. Thad got into ninth place and found a nice open space between battling packs. He said there were a lot of riders crashing, and his goal was obviously to stay clear of them and bring the victory home, and that’s exactly what he did. As for Sanders, he finished in fourth, with a time 5.8 seconds off of Taylor’s, giving Taylor Robert the overall by a margin of 17.9 seconds. In one moto Team USA won their first ISDE, and Taylor Robert became the second American rider to win the overall after Ryan Sipes did it last year.

Layne Michael, Thad DuVall, Kailub Russell, and Taylor Robert
Layne Michael, Thad DuVall, Kailub Russell, and Taylor Robert wait to go way up on the ISDE podium.Photo: Pete Peterson

The riders and team manager Antti Kallonen were excited and a little emotional in the US paddock just after the win. They had one more bit of business to do, attend the podium awards ceremony. But there was a little more party than business to this, as the US riders fetched their bikes out of impound and ripped off some celebration burnouts. It was a heightened and emotional sense of relief and joy. Then during the awards ceremony, as the US Team was at the top of the podium, someone in the crowd yelled out, “For Caselli.” Many people were already thinking of the US rider, but at that moment we all had him in mind at the same time during this great moment.

Stu Baylor at ISDE
Stu Baylor lead the Junior World Trophy Team to second overall in their division.Photo: Pete Peterson

As far as other teams, the US riders had a huge impact on this year’s top finishes. The US Junior Trophy Team started the day just under 27 seconds behind Team Sweden for that division title, but in the Motocross Test they weren’t able to make it up, and held on to second. The Women’s World Trophy team spent much of the week in fourth place, and finished there, with Team Australia winning that division.

Layne Michael at ISDE
Layne Michael rode smooth and smart in his moto.Photo: Pete Peterson

The US also had a great showing in the Club divisions, with Josh Toth winning the individual Club rider overall as well as the C1 class, and Ben Kelley winning the C2 overall. US teams also finished second and third in the Club Team division. And new this year were several vintage classes, with only one American rider in the mix, Fred Hoess, who rode his 1986 Husqvarna to the win in the Vintage overall and also in the C86 class (there are several classes based on the age of the bike).

Kailub Russell at ISDE
Kailub Russell looked strong in the final day of competition.Photo: Pete Peterson

It was an amazing year for The US World Trophy Team. Our boys avoided any big mistakes and rode like champions from Day 1. Every rider on that team, the other US teams, and every single member of the support crew deserves a big thank you. Thank you Taylor, Kailub, Thad, and Layne, and congratulations to everyone who worked to make this victory happen.

ISDE victory celebration
Kailub shares his drink with some of the fans.Photo: Pete Peterson

1. USA
2. Great Britain
3. Czech Republic
4. Sweden
5. Estonia

1. Taylor Robert (Overall winner and E2 class winner)
2. Daniel Sanders (E3 class winner)
3. Josep Garcia Montana (E1 class winner)

1. Sweden
2. United States
3. Italy
4. Finland
5. France

1. Australia
2. Spain
3. Germany
4. USA
5. Sweden

Taylor Robert, podium
Taylor Robert duplicated the feat that Ryan Sipes achieved last year by winning the individual overall honors at this year's event. Robert also won the E2 division.Photo: Shan Moore
Taylor Robert
Since Taylor Robert's competition for the overall was in a different class for the motocross race, Taylor just went out and did what he had to do and win his race.Photo: Shan Moore
Thad DuVall
Thad DuVall (center) and Layne Michael (right) check out results right after returning to the park firme.Photo: Shan Moore
Layne Michael jumps
Layne Michael jumps a double jump during the E1 race.Photo: Shan Moore
Kailub Russell, E2 race
Kailub Russell works his way through the pack during the E2 race.Photo: Shan Moore
Kailub Russell pushes his bike out of impound after the race, ahead of Thad DuVall.
Kailub Russell and Thad DuVall.Photo: Shan Moore
The US World Trophy Team
The US World Trophy Team of Thad DuVall, Taylor Robert, Kailub Russell and Layne Michael sing the National Anthem at the top of their lungs on the podium! It was a very patriotic podium.Photo: Shan Moore
The US World Trophy Team and manager Antti Kallonen
The US World Trophy Team hoists team manager Antti Kallonen on their shoulders.Photo: Shan Moore