Day 1 started off with a bang! Opening the first test, Jed Etchells officially started the 97th ISDE. With the Men’s Trophy Team starting first on every test today, it was both a blessing and a curse as the dust wasn’t as bad but the tests had not been broken in at all so the boys were forced to make their own, new lines.
The heat is incredibly severe out here with little protection from it on the going. Temperatures reached over 40 degrees Celsius by the time the riders were on their second lap. The going is rough and doesn’t give much time for rest and with the hot wind it’s difficult to cool down in between tests. The dust is constant and makes it difficult to see where you’re going at any time. The teams at the checks are incredible and making sure that all riders are as well hydrated and fed as possible!
The Men’s Trophy Team finished second overall today, an incredible start given the challenging conditions! Jamie McCanney and Nathan Watson had excellent first days, finishing 6th and 7th overall respectively! In the final test of the day, Nathan got his best result when he finished third. Jed Etchells also rode well to finish 9th overall, his best result being his fourth place finish on test one. Alex Snow had a great first day and was a great presence at the tests and checks for the other team members, staying calm at all times despite the conditions! He finished 18th overall and is looking to move up in the rankings tomorrow. Overall the team is in high spirits and happy to be ahead of other strong teams like France, Italy and Spain.
The Women’s Trophy Team have had a difficult day to say the least. Emily Hall suffered from severe heat exhaustion and Women’s Team Manager Mick Seward made the decision to withdraw her from the competition, which was definitely the right call. Libby Tett also had a tough day but managed to finish in 17th place. She was 3 minutes late but the team were just happy to have her back safe. On a brighter note, Nieve Holmes had a great first day finishing 8th overall in the Women’s class! She was placing very consistently all day and is looking to improve on her times tomorrow!
The Junior Trophy Team finished fifth, a great position to be in at the start of the week. Heading into Day 2, they are riding the tests again so have a better idea of what they are up against! Max Ingham had a standout ride in the team, finishing 13th overall in the Junior class. Harry Edmondson and Charlie Chater finished 17th and 20th respectively.
Everyone has been thrown in at the deep end this week but the team is determined to finish and get the best result possible! The support from home has been overwhelming and every member of Team GB would like to thank you all for your support. We hope to do you proud!
Download a selection of images from Day 1 here