With team Australia recently being crowned Junior World Trophy champions at Portugal’s 2019 FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE), we checked in with KTM Australia’s Lyndon Snodgrass on his week and what it means for him as he becomes a world champion.
After the AORC finale in September, I had set my sights on training hard for the ISDE. Fortunately, I was able to test out the new Dunlop Geomax EN91 tyres before heading to the event, so it was good to get comfortable with the tyres before the race. I did a bit of training with last year’s ISDE winner Daniel Milner and having Daniel Sanders live close by to me was helpful as we managed to get some solid training in before heading to Portugal.
I was once again selected to ride for Australia’s Junior World Trophy team, where I was joined by Fraser Higlett and Michael Driscoll as team mates. We spent the domestic season as competitors in the E1 class, so to become team mates and work together was cool. The week leading into the race was spent doing a lot of test walking, where we try to memorise the tracks before racing them. This can be tedious and of course gets tiring, however we try to keep it as fun as possible by joking around and having plenty of laughs along the way.
The FIM ISDE is the longest running Enduro event in the world! The first ever running of the event was in 1913 and the format for this event is so unique, like nothing else on the calendar. The event runs over six days and each day there is a set out trail loop for us to follow, usually about 250kms. Each day there are many checkpoints, along with ‘Special Tests’ set out along the course where the real racing side of the event comes in.
After starting the opening day strong, I managed to get through the first lap of special tests without many mistakes. Remaining consistent I finished day 1 in 10th position overall while the Australian Junior Trophy Team had already worked up a 1-minute lead over second place!
With the second day following the same course as day one, I was eager to make some improvements on areas I knew I didn’t execute perfectly the day prior. A few adjustments to my Choice tuned WP Suspension would help me find a slight edge and improve my overall finishing position to 9th for day two.
With a completely new trail section & all new tests on days three and four, it was important that I kept the ball rolling from my strong start and stayed consistent. My KTM 250 EXCF was performing awesome and I was able to continually improve my finishing positions, coming home 9th again on day three and then 8th overall on the fourth day of the event.
For the Junior World Trophy Team, day five was a critical one. We had built up 8-minute lead (as a team) and needed to get through the day mistake free. With a handful of new special tests on day five, this certainly kept things interesting.! I once again finished the day 8th overall and headed into the final day of the 2019 event sitting 8th in the overall standing, while Team Australia were leading the Junior World Trophy category.
Our final E1 moto for the event wasn’t scheduled until 3pm on day six, meaning that I finally got to have a sleep in after waking up at 5am every morning for the past 5 days. This moto was held on a go-kart track, where I only had to hold on for 15 minutes before the event was finally over!
With the final race of the event completed, I managed to come home 3rd in E1, 7th Outright for the event and was crowed Junior World Trophy Champions along with my teammates Fraser Higlett and Michael Driscoll. To cap things off, I was the first Junior Rider home for the entire event!
To be the junior world champions for 2019 is such an awesome feeling, after being a part of the winning world trophy team last year but not actually finishing the race. This year’s win is that much more special for me as I got to be there until the end and lead team Australia to victory!