PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association today announced the 10 trophy team riders selected to represent the United States in the 2018 FIM International Six Days Enduro in Vina Del Mar, Chile, Nov. 12-17.
The riders will compete as the U.S. World Trophy, Junior World Trophy and Women’s World Trophy teams.
“The U.S. World Trophy Team had a tough outing in 2017, because of an injury on the first day of competition, so we are looking forward to the opportunity to regain the championship the U.S. team won in 2016,” said AMA Director of Racing Kevin Crowther. “We are eager to head for Chile with this group of talented riders. And I am confident these individuals will be competitive at the highest level and demonstrate America’s determination and conviction during this competition.”
The U.S. World Trophy and Junior World trophy teams have been managed by KTM USA’s Off-Road Manager Antti Kallonen since 2012. Since 2017, Kallonen also has managed the U.S. Women’s World Trophy Team.
“I’m happy to be able to assemble all three teams with the riders [named above],” Kallonen said. “Most of the riders can go without any further introduction, as their past results prove their ability for Six Days type racing. But I’m especially pleased to have Zach on board. Although he is new to Six Days, he has proven his speed in off road racing and is riding a two-stroke bike very well, which landed him the spot in the E3 class. It is not easy to find a fast rider that races regularly on a 500 four-stroke or 300 two-stroke in the United States. So, to find a rider like Zach will be a great benefit to the team.”
Kallonen said he is ready to begin preparing the teams for the November competition.
The 2018 U.S. World Trophy Team includes: Ryan Sipes, of Flaherty, Ky., on a Husqvarna FE 250; Taylor Robert, of Rio Verde, Ariz., riding a KTM 450 XC-F; Kailub Russell, of Boonville, N.C., on a KTM 450 XC-F; and Zach Bell, of Beaumont, Calif., riding a Husqvarna TX 300.
Sipes was the 2015 ISDE overall winner. Robert was the 2016 ISDE overall winner. Russell is a five-time GNCC champion. And Bell is a standout motocrosser turned off-road racer and AMA District 37 Big 6 Grand Prix Series champion.
The 2017 U.S. World Trophy Team finished a 16th among the 19 countries competing. Robert won the E3 class in 2017 and finished third overall individually. Sipes was 2017 runner-up in E1 and finished fifth overall individually.
The 2018 U.S. Junior World Trophy Team, made up of riders age 23 and younger includes: Josh Toth, of Winsted, Conn., on a KTM 250 XC-F; Grant Baylor, of Belton, S.C., riding a KTM 450 XC-F; and Ben Kelley, of Burlington, Conn., on a KTM 350 XC-F.
Baylor and Toth were also on the 2017 team. Baylor finished 13th in E2 and 31st overall. Toth finished 14th in E1 and 41st overall.
The 2018 U.S. Women’s World Trophy Team includes: Tarah Gieger, of Winter Garden, Fla., on a Honda CRF250R; Brandy Richards, of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., riding a KTM 350 XC-F; and Becca Sheets, of Circleville, Ohio, on a KTM 250 XC-F.
Richards and Sheets were on the 2017 team, which finished second behind five-time winner Australia. And the U.S. team bested the Australians in the last two days of competition.
These riders will be joined by 21 Club Team riders at the ISDE.
Riders at the ISDE compete in one of three displacement classes. The E1 class features 100cc to 125cc two-stroke and 175cc to 250cc four-stroke motorcycles. The E2 class features 175cc to 250cc two-stroke and 290cc to 450cc four-stroke motorcycles. The E3 class features 290cc to 500cc two-stroke and 475cc to 650cc four-stroke motorcycles.
Supporting the ISDE effort is ISDE team physician, Dr. James McGee.
Fans can show their support by buying ISDE U.S. team apparel at www.amagear.com (search “ISDE”).
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com.