All roads lead to France and Le Puy-En-Velay for the start of the FIM International Six Days of Enduro (ISDE). With the stage set for the ninety-sixth edition of the FIM’s longest running off-road motorcycle competition, the Enduro world stands ready for one of the toughest, but most enjoyable of race weeks, which gets underway on Monday 29 August.
With competitors of all ability levels gathering from more than thirty nations at this year’s FIM ISDE, it is at the head of the field where some of the greatest anticipation lies. While many compete for the achievement of finishing such an iconic race, titanic battles are expected to form in the FIM World Trophy, FIM Junior Trophy, and FIM Women’s Trophy categories.
As defending champions of both the FIM World Trophy and FIM Junior World Trophy, Italy take to the start in Le Puy-En-Velay as the nation to beat, while it is the United States who have expectations of defending their FIM Women’s Trophy crown.
Fielding a team that is equally as talented as their 2021 winning line-up, Italy is undoubtedly hoping to secure back-to-back wins in the FIM World Trophy category. Led by current FIM EnduroGP points leader Andrea Verona (GASGAS), along with FIM ISDE stalwarts Thomas Oldrati (Honda) and Alex Salvini (Husqvarna), plus rising star Samuele Bernadini (Honda), ensures Italy will be tough to beat.
However, Italy has stiff competition by way of the national squads from Great Britain, United States, Spain, Sweden, Australia, and of course host nation France. With a strong quartet of riders in Christophe Charlier (Beta), Hugo Blanjoue (KTM), Leo Le Quere (Sherco) and Till de Clercq (KTM) – spurred on by a wealth of home support – France are certain to rise to the challenge.
In the FIM Junior World Trophy competition Italy also start as defending champions, following their success on home soil last year. Always a difficult category to predict, the Junior class will undoubtedly see close racing throughout the week-long event. For many riders it will be their first taste of competition on the world stage and as is usual in the FIM ISDE, young talent will use the competition as a platform to shine.
In total fifteen nations will challenge Italy for top honours, but the biggest fights are expected to come from Spain, Finland, United States, France, and Great Britain. Led by newly crowned FIM Enduro Junior World Champion Zach Pichon (Sherco), France has good reason to be optimistic for success next week.
When it comes to the FIM Women’s World Trophy category, only France, United States, and Australia have ever tasted victory since its introduction in 2007. And while the United States start as defending champions in France, both Great Britain and Spain pose a real threat of adding their names to that illustrious winners’ list.
Arguably one of their best-ever line ups, Great Britain feature current FIM Women’s Enduro World Championship points leader Jane Daniels (Fantic), Rosie Rowett (KTM) and Nieve Holmes (Sherco). As the only rider to have challenged Daniels this season in world championship competition, Spain’s Mireia Badia (Rieju) will help push her teammates Julia Calvo (Beta) and Nora Esteban (Husqvarna) to excel each day. In total, nine nations will compete in the FIM Women’s World Trophy class.