Day Three at the ISDE was a new day for everybody. The riders got to see some new tests and Hoop, Shan & myself got more lost than we would like to admit. This is my first ISDE, so I have listened to a lot of stories from different people who have attended an ISDE before. The main story that I have heard multiple times, is about getting lost at an ISDE. Since we have been doing such a great job of not getting lost, it was either our time or karma came to kick some ass today. We drove around every city outside of Zschopau looking for some form of a sign toward a Special Test. Luckily once we got on track, we stayed on track. It was a rough day, but it’s all part of the game.
We did hear stories from a few riders that they had issues today finding some of the tests as well. It didn’t sound like any riders missed their start time, but little situations like getting lost can really add extra stress to your day. The French though, nothing seemed to bother them. They dominated the third day, winning the majority of the tests and stretching their lead over Australia. Australia had an ok day, with a few of their riders having small crashes. Glenn Kearney was the exception though, sustaining a knee injury that could possibly take him out of the event. Spain moves up to fourth as Italy starts to secure third. Finland dropped back to sixth, possibly because of bike trouble for Juha Salminen, while the United States moves into fifth.
Charlie Mullins and Taylor Robert, who have been performing better than expected, continue to carry Team USA. Kurt Caselli seems to be rebounding from his Day One crash, but is still not where we know he would like to be. Mike Brown and Destry Abbott have had good performances, while Russell Bobbitt seems to be struggling a bit with an old injury. They are still close enough to catch and pass Spain, but all riders will need to be riding their best if they want to podium.
Day Four starts tomorrow; typically by the end of the fourth day, the points are starting to showcase a podium preview. France is seeming unstoppable, Australia will have to start battling through injury and Italy just needs to keep doing what they have been doing. Spain and the USA have been steadily moving up, so a third place battle could be on the horizon.