2015 FIM ISDE – Day Minus 2

Today was filled with final bike preparation in the morning and then at 11:00am the guys started the process of finalizing their registration paperwork, getting their official FIM number plate decals and transponder holder. Next task was to head over to Parc Ferme for technical inspection and impounding their bikes.  All three riders sailed through the sound test and other scrutineering … had the keys parts of their bikes marked … and pushed the bikes to their official spot in a guarded and fenced area where the bikes will stand “impounded” each night during the race.

Ben, Josh and John going through technical inspection before impound - photo by Art Pepin

Ben, Josh and John going through technical inspection before impound – photo by Art Pepin

The second half of the day was filled with the opening ceremony for the ISDE. The teams gathered and marched through town ending up in the village square where several thousand people cheered as each team was introduced and FIM and Slovak government officials welcomed the many countries, participants and spectators to the 2015 International Six Days of Enduro.

Opening ceremony 2015 FIM ISDE - photo by Art Pepin

Opening ceremony 2015 FIM ISDE – photo by Art Pepin

2015 FIM ISDE – Day Minus 3

I know there are mother’s, grandmother’s, aunt’s, and girlfriends worried about these three while they are in Slovakia.  So today’s blog is for the ladies back home.

photo by Art Pepin

photo by Art Pepin

photo by Art Pepin

photo by Art Pepin

photo by Art Pepin

photo by Art Pepin

2015 FIM ISDE – Day Minus 4

Enduro test walk - photo by Art Pepin

Enduro test walk – photo by Art Pepin

Thursday September 3 was a day to walk the remaining special tests. The riders traverse the ribboned trails to see the soil, terrain, hills, etc first hand. The team finished walking all the Enduro and Cross tests today so days 1-5 are now complete.

Tanner Harding and Jeff Fredette helping Josh work on his bike - photo by Art Pepin

Tanner Harding and Jeff Fredette helping Josh work on his bike – photo by Art Pepin

In the afternoon the guys worked some more on their bikes getting them clean and dialed in.  KTM factory mechanic Tanner Harding and ISDE legend Jeff Fredette helped Josh out getting his rear brake light working.  Great to see the team work and eager help provided by the entire AMA Team USA support crew.

2015 FIM ISDE – Day Minus 5

On Wednesday we headed to the pits at 8:00am today to unpack the guys crates and build their bikes. By 11:00am they were out on the test track getting their suspensions dialed in with help from Gilles Trepanier and the crew. A lot of work in 90 degree heat but well worth it getting all major bike prep done in one day. I think these three pics show off the hard work these three riders have put in to get here … and how ready they are to race with the world’s best.

Ben Kelley - 2015 FIM ISDE - photo by Art Pepin

Ben Kelley – 2015 FIM ISDE – photo by Art Pepin

John Kelley - 2015 FIM ISDE - photo by Art Pepin

John Kelley – 2015 FIM ISDE – photo by Art Pepin

Josh Toth - 2015 FIM ISDE - photo by Art Pepin

Josh Toth – 2015 FIM ISDE – photo by Art Pepin

 

2015 FIM ISDE – Day Minus 6

First full day in Slovakia … we got up early and spent the day walking the special tests for days 5 & 6 of the ISDE.  A lot of beautiful forests, steep hilly terrain and climbs that seem to go on forever.  Altitude ranged from about 600 ft above sea level  in the city to over 2,500 at the high point of several tests. A lot like New England … but steeper ups and downs!  The guys are in great spirits and we all went to the first AMA meeting this evening to meet the Team USA riders and hear from AMA officials about the basic plans for this week as we (riders and support crew) get organized and ready to race!

Ben, Josh & John introduced at the AMA full team meeting (photo by Art Pepin)

Ben, Josh & John introduced at the AMA full team meeting (photo by Art Pepin)