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Old 10-02-2013, 02:02 PM   #61
mknight OP
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Originally Posted by Southest US Thumper View Post
Excellent Stuff Mike!!! Thanks so much for posting, I go to bed as the Trophy Teams are heded out and wake up to results pouring in.

Jethrodog a.k.a. Chris said he made it to the start of a Special and rooted for Josh, he thought 713 might have been a bit surprised to see that somebody out of the blue in the field was cheering him on!
Thanks Robert (and all) for the encouragement to keep this going. Regarding "Jethrodog" cheering on Josh, that is great! I'll have to ask him about it. You cannot underestimate how much little "boost" that gives the riders.

Yesterday after the day was over, U.S. Junior Trophy rider Andrew DeLong came up to my wife and thanked her for cheering him on in a corner. He said it gave him a boost to push a little harder.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:36 PM   #62
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Beautiful pictures Mike and thanks for the reporting. Josh is looking so relaxed and thinking ahead as usual! This is great publicity for the ISDE and showing people that it still is the Olympics of motorcycling. Go Josh!!!
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:43 PM   #63
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October 2, 2013

Without being here, seeing it, and feeling it, it is difficult to really convey what six full days of Enduro is really like. There are subtle cues by the riders…..body language, posture, etc., that give the impression to the non-rider that the days are adding up. However, today was humpday and despite the toll being taken on bikes and bodies, there is also a level of enthusiasm as well, knowing that tomorrow is an all new course, with new tests, and challenges to be encountered.

The U.S. Trophy Team still sits in a very solid 3rd place today. From my observation, they are all in good spirits and no major bike or body issues. Taylor Robert had to swap out a front brake line, and had to ride one entire test with no front brakes. Mike Brown is on his third clutch in the mighty 500. There have been some great individual performances, but the 3rd place standing is truly a team effort and the result of consistency.

The Junior Trophy Team retains the 4th spot for the day and much like the Trophy Team, they have been consistent with no major bike or body issues to my knowledge.

Today’s course was Day 1 and 2 ridden backwards, with some slightly new trail thrown in for good measure. Josh said that part of the new course was down a gnarly creek bed for several miles with a little water thrown in for good measure, and the course also sent riders up what has previously been a long and technical downhill and he indicated that there were plenty of riders strewn all over the hill (he described having to use one guy’s bike for “traction” to make it up the hill). I think some of these gnarly sections took their toll on the U.S. Women’s Trophy Team and they all dropped some route points but they are still in the game. One major change to this year’s ISDE is the new “30 minute” rule. If a rider is late, they now only have 30 minutes rather than 60 minutes of route time before being disqualified for the day.

For the Club Teams, the “ringer” U.S. Wellard Club Team consisting of Nick Fahringer, Ryan Sipes, and Jimmy Jarrett has moved into 2nd place overall for the World Club Team standings. Nick is currently in 7th place overall in all Club riders (over 400 riders) and Ryan Sipes is 10th overall club rider.
Ian Blythe is the other big standout among Club riders, and is the top U.S. Club rider through Day 3. He is sitting 3rd place overall C1 rider, and 4th place overall Club rider.

I am proud of every single U.S. rider, but I have a few observations of a few other riders that are impressing. After the 4 mentions above, Justin Sode and Alex Dorsey are laying down some awesome test scores. Fred Hoess is forever consistent, and I will admit that I’m very proud of my son Josh as he has consistently been the next club rider right behind these team members, and has demonstrated a lot of maturity in his approach to this Six Days. Riding on the same team as Fred Hoess has been great for him. Josh is currently in the top 18% of all Club riders and within the top 22% of all C1 riders. There were 150 C1 riders that started on Day 1. There are now 137, and he sits in 31st. There were 405 Club riders (inclusive of C1, C2, and C3 classes) that started on Day 1. There are now 357 as of the end of Day 3. There is a little bit of attrition every single day and as many ISDE veterans will attest, the “Six Days” doesn’t really start until Day 4.

Today I was unable to get to a test in time to get photos of the Trophy and Jr. Trophy riders. However, I was able to get shots of every single U.S. Club Team Member. There are plenty of photos all over the net of the Trophy guys so hopefully you can enjoy the rest of these.

Fred Hoess and Justin Sode leaving impound this morning and entering the work area with their bikes.


Ryan Sipes gets a quick interview on the starting line this morning….ready for Day 3.


Justin Sode rides his Beta 250 to full-tilt. Here is Justin doing a little prep in his morning work time. The U.S. Support guys are amazing and give every rider their absolute attention. They are here for the riders.


I’ve gotten to know Fred Hoess a lot better on this trip, and have enjoyed his insight and consider it an honor for Josh to be riding with another ISDE legend.

Josh and Fred in morning work area.


Alex Dorsey from California doing some morning prep on his bike. Alex has had some awesome test scores and is riding well.


I saw this in the morning work area. Just about every rider drops close to $1,000 or more on tires and bibs for the week. Maybe we’re all missing the boat and should spend $10.00 on some tennis balls.


Scene this morning in the work area after impound before riders leave for the day. They have 10 minutes to do any necessary work on their bikes.



Jeff O’Leary in morning work area.


Josh gets a quick interview from the excitable Italian announcer before starting his Day 3.


These French fans have been everywhere and were thoroughly enjoying being the subject of many photos along with their anatomically correct (and anatomically enhanced) blow-up doll, air-horns, and chainless chainsaws.



Mandi Mastin in the Indoona Grass Track special test today. Note the dust behind her. She was enjoying about as good of vision as was possible in this test, and this wasn’t even one of the really dusty ones.


This Italian rider is currently the top overall club rider. It’s fun to watch the top Club riders come in because they are considerably faster than the latter portion of the Trophy riders so all of a sudden you see these guys come in and they are just on the gas. I liked this photo because it just kind of epitomized the ISDE for me….great form, leaning forward, on the gas, test ribbon dangling from the fork leg from exploding corners…..love it.


U.S. Womens Trophy rider Rachel Gutish.


U.S. Womens Trophy rider Brooke Hodges. Note the dust mask on the course workers.




Nick Fahringer in the “escargot” section of the grass track, always on the gas.


Ian Blythe….has been having a great Six Days.

Jimmy Jarrett


Ryan Sipes


Alex Dorsey


Justin Sode


Josh Knight



Brian Storrie



Jeff O’Leary




Keith Curtis from Montana. He’s on the same team as Josh and Fred and he and Josh have become good friends. If you want to know if he’s the real deal when it comes to professional snowmobiling, check out this link: http://www.polaris.com/kc711




Trevor Kline




Shawn O’Leary







Jeff Fredette, still doing it, and competing in his 33rd ISDE!!


Sam Buffa




Scott Bright


Jeremy Shoning





Rachel Gutish at the start of the new test that was only used today.


Ryan Sipes


Brooke Hodges


Ian Blythe


My favorite pic of the day. Nick Fahringer, always charging.


Justin Sode


Jimmy Jarrett


Josh Knight









Day 3 in the books. This is Six Days :)
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Old 10-02-2013, 04:20 PM   #64
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:40 PM   #65
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October 3, 2013

Day 4 of the 88th running of the ISDE presented riders with a new course, new special tests, and all of the challenges that come with it. Today’s course was shorter in distance and duration, but was generally considered to be more technical. The real challenge presented itself in the transfer section before Time Check 4.

We chose one special test to attend today and tried to get there in time to get photos of the entire U.S. team. Special Test 4 is known as the “Padru” Test. This is the one set on a hillside MX track about 25 kilometers south of the city of Olbia. As the first Trophy riders arrived, it seemed that they were all in more of a hurry than usual (the Time Check 4 was immediately after the Special Test and across the road). It turns out the transfer section was particularly “tight”, meaning that riders had less time than accustomed to cover the distance. Many of the Trophy riders were finishing the test with just a minute or two to spare at the time check to remain on schedule.

According to Josh and some of the other riders, they all knew that it was going to be tight, and the pace was definitely elevated. He and Fred Hoess said it was like a full-on Hare Scrambles race for 40 kilometers with bikes, carnage, and craziness ensuing the entire way. There was some virgin singletrack cut through the forest, along with some other more challenging trails that wreaked a little havoc on some of the riders.

A nice cloud cover kept the temperatures moderate for most of the day, and Josh indicated that the first half of the day was his favorite so far. The trails were tough, the schedule tight and fast, and with the new terrain the tests and transfer section trails were in great shape. Part of the course was doubled-up for a second loop and some tests ridden twice, so he indicated by the second time around today, the conditions went from great to worse. All those same sections will be duplicated tomorrow so unless we get another miracle rain like we did on Sunday night before Day 1, tomorrow is going to be dry, dusty, and the course will be severely beat.

The course conditions have taken their toll on tires and bib mousses. The Metzeler rig and all the other tire manufacturers have been a revolving door with people replacing bibs and buying new tires. Just about every U.S. rider (and most other riders) have been destroying bibs.

The U.S. Trophy Team is still holding on to 3rd place with the Junior Trophy team in 4th. There have been some great individual performances again. The U.S. Wellard Club Team is 2nd overall club team and Ryan Sipes has continued to lay down some great test scores.

Josh’s team has moved up to 13th overall out of 139 club teams and his individual performance has improved as well. He has consistently moved up a few spots each day both in the overall club standings as well as in his respective C1 class.

Here are some photos from today to enjoy.

Ryan Sipes leaving the parc ferme this morning for Day 4. He has had a lot of people very curious about him. I had one European guy approach me at a special test. He could tell I was from the U.S. and he asked me if it was “The” Ryan Sipes who was riding on a club team for the U.S. Those who follow Supercross and Motocross know who he is as well as Zach Osborne and have been very curious about their performances.


Alex Dorsey changing out a clutch in the morning work period. Once again, I can’t tell you how nice it has been to have a factory KTM mechanic present at all the checkpoints for ALL the riders.


Alex Dorsey and teammate Justin Sode were starting on the same minute this morning. These two have had excellent Six Days thus far and are riding great.


Josh changing an air filter this morning. Up to this point, most riders have been swapping air filters 3-4 times a day due to the dust. Today, was very different due to the better conditions for the first half of the day, but everyone is expecting that to change for tomorrow.


Josh gives Grandpa a thumbs up before leaving for Day 4.


This isn’t a very good photo, but I had Jennie take it from the car as we were driving to the special test. This was a section of course that paralleled the road and then climbed a big hill. It was attracting quite the crowd. Anywhere the course is viewable, there are people off watching.



Young Italian ISDE fans. You can tell what hair style is popular among the young Italians.



Random scooter pic of the day. Scooters are everywhere! Motorcycles are everywhere….I could start an entire thread with pictures of all the cool motorcycles.



Check out this view of the beautiful, groomed, prepped, motocross track that was part of Special Test 4 (kidding). Water ruts, hard packed, and steep. The entire track was like this, but due to the moisture earlier this week, and the fact that it had not yet been ridden, allowed it to rut up reasonably nice.


Top Australian Daniel Milner was first through this Special Test….not really an advantage considering the course conditions in the test.



Antoine Meo, special test winner, and overall leader for the day.


First Trophy riders arriving to the test. Charlie Mullins is just behind the starting chute, as he was the first American on the schedule today.


Charlie Mullins


Taylor Robert




Everyone goes nuts when the top Italians come through.


Mike Brown


Kurt Caselli




Kailub Russell




Zach Osborne






Thad Duvall




Andrew Delong




Grant Baylor


Many from Utah and the West should recognize this rider….Ivan Ramirez, a regular on the Hare n’ Hound series that many of us in the West race. He is here representing Mexico.


The flipped collar guy returns. Makes me laugh every time I see it.


This is to try and demonstrate how steep (and loose) the hills were on the track. These spectators were trying to walk down.


Crazy “chainless chainshaw” Italian fans again.


Ryan Sipes





Ian Blythe





Justin Sode



Rachel Gutish


Nick Fahringer



Fred Hoess


Mandi Mastin


Jimmy Jarrett


Brooke Hodges



Alex Dorsey



Josh Knight





Mom loves cheering on her son and every U.S. team rider.


Sam Buffa


Jeff O’Leary



This should give you some perspective of what the riders constantly have to deal with. This is immediately after the special test and time check. There is typically some section of road leading into or out of a test of checkpoint and it is usually very congested with lots of cars going every direction and people everywhere. Remaining totally aware at all times is critical for the riders.


Jeff Fredette


Brian Storrie


I was walking from the test back to my car. I kept hearing a bunch of guys yelling in Italian from way up on the hill. They spotted me walking with my media/photo vest on were yelling for me to take their picture. This is for you my drunk Italian ISDE friends.


This is the same test that also runs right through an old farmer’s field and past his goat pens. Shawn O’Leary navigates the test through this section of old farm.


Another pic to offer some perspective. This is Jeff Fredette being chased through the field during the test.


Shawn O’Leary




By the end of the day, the riders were feeling the effects of the most difficult day of riding yet. Here, Fred gets some treatment from therapist Monte.



If anybody read my thread from last year, you may remember the “Purple Helmets” from Isle of Man. They showed up again to the ISDE, this time in Italy. They ride these old rat bikes and are quite the scene everywhere they go.


The Purple Helmets


The U.S. container is getting quite a stack of used tires on top.


The pits were hopping with activity tonight.


Imagine your large State Fair, and then imagine every vendor and person being a motorcycle enthusiast….that’s the Six Days pits.


U.S. food tent. Huge thanks to all the volunteers preparing and serving food to the riders each day.


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Old 10-03-2013, 03:50 PM   #66
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Awesome coverage!I know Amanda Masten and her family,good to see her still at it!
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:27 PM   #67
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Thanks for the coverage, this is awesome!
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:55 PM   #68
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Well no wonder the Italians like Ryan Sipes, he's sporting an Italian Airoh Helmet!!! (Eye Row as they say in europe) and of course he flat flies!!



Great stuff Mike! Thanks again for taking the time, the coverage has been fantastic!
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:06 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by mknight View Post
October 2, 2013

...
This Italian rider is currently the top overall club rider. It’s fun to watch the top Club riders come in because they are considerably faster than the latter portion of the Trophy riders so all of a sudden you see these guys come in and they are just on the gas. I liked this photo because it just kind of epitomized the ISDE for me….great form, leaning forward, on the gas, test ribbon dangling from the fork leg from exploding corners…..love it.

Yeah, Maurizio Micheluz and his little Suzuki are really in great shape this year. In 2012 he had his first Rally Raid race at the Merzouga Rally: 3rd overall behind much more experienced Czachor and Bianchi Prata, just hope he will try again
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Old 10-04-2013, 03:21 PM   #70
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Yeah, Maurizio Micheluz and his little Suzuki are really in great shape this year. In 2012 he had his first Rally Raid race at the Merzouga Rally: 3rd overall behind much more experienced Czachor and Bianchi Prata, just hope he will try again
Gian...you mentioned Maurizio at the start of the week. I admit, being from USA, I did not know of him, but I definitely do now! My son Josh has been watching his scores very closely since they are in the same C1 class and as the overall leader of Club riders, Maurizio is also setting the bar very high for the rest to follow. U.S. rider Ryan Sipes has been giving him a hard charge, but Maurizio is an incredible rider.

Josh will have the honor of lining up with him in the third C1 moto at tomorrow's final moto. Josh also had the unique experience of lining up with Tullio Pellegrinelli. They were on the same row to start Day 5. Josh couldn't figure out why all the Italians were screaming and cheering for him every time he got close, and then he realized it was for Tullio.

Again, he had no idea who Tullio was before coming here but has since learned that he is a former Italian World Champion and multi-time ISDE medalist and legend.
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Old 10-04-2013, 05:05 PM   #71
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October 4, 2013

Day 5 of 6 here in Italy. It’s interesting how each day brings a different set of emotions. At the start of the week there is so much anticipation, anxiety and excitement about starting the racing. This morning, the mood seemed to be more of a “I just need to get through one more day and then it’s almost over” kind of approach.

I’m happy to report that all U.S. riders made it through the day, but by the end of the day the rough course had taken its toll. Josh woke up kind of sick this morning, and we didn’t think too much of it. It turns out that a good portion of the riders had pretty sour stomachs by the end of the day and the riders were just happy to have it over with and find a bathroom. There were a lot of tired and beat up bodies relieved to have made it. Now the mood has shifted. Tomorrow is the final moto and although it is another day of riding, it’s kind of like the prize at the end of the game. Everyone is looking forward to it.

Riders will have to ride about 40-50 kilometers to get to the final motocross track tomorrow. They then finish their day like any other day with a pre-check, a 15 minute work period, and then an impound. A lot of riders will be changing at least a rear tire again during that work period before the final moto.

The Riders are staged first by C1, then C2, C3, and then Junior Trophy, and World Trophy motos. I’m happy to report that based on Josh’s final standings, that he will be in the third C1 moto which is the fastest of the C1 motos (over 40 in each moto since there are almost 140 C1 riders remaining of the 150 that started). The current overall leader of all club riders is an Italian, Maurizio Micheluz. He is blistering fast and is a former multi-time Italian World Trophy and Junior World Trophy rider. He has set the bar very high for the rest of the C1 riders to obtain gold, so achieving gold in this class will be a real accomplishment.

As for today’s course, it was the same as yesterday. We woke up to some light rain this morning, but it wasn’t enough to do much for the course. Josh indicated that the tight time on the transfer section before special test 4 remained the same, and it was just as hairball crazy today as it was yesterday with carnage and riders everywhere going full moto to get to their check on time. This is where he expended a lot of energy and started getting quite sick, but I think it took a similar toll on all the riders, because not only was the pace very fast, but the trails were really tight and technical.

There was a low-lying fog on the mountains today and Josh said that in some sections he was riding in dense fog with really limited vision, on freshly cut singletrack with a canopy of trees through the mountains. From a spectator perspective, you wouldn’t even imagine such trails exist. That seems to be the theme this year…..great trails on the transfer sections, and then beat up, silty, dusty special tests. Keep in mind, I’m not riding, but gathering this information from Josh and the other riders so I’m sure others may have a different perspective.

The exciting news in the team meeting tonight was that the men’s World Trophy team has moved into second place overall. They have not achieved a 2nd place overall since 1982 so if they can pull this off it would be a great accomplishment. Junior Trophy Team currently sits in 4th place, and the women had a better day today. The Wellard Club Team remains in 2nd place overall club team.

Josh has improved every single day this week which has been great for his confidence. Today he moved up to 55th overall club rider out of 342 that remain (405 started), and 26th C1 rider out of 126 that remain (152 started).

Alex Dorsey has continued to pick up speed and has been a very solid club team rider along with Justin Sode and Fred Hoess. Alex has been right behind Jimmy Jarrett in many test scores. The other U.S. club team “superstars” (Ryan Sipes, Nick Fahringer, Jimmy Jarrett and Ian Blythe) are riding great. Ian Blythe is having an awesome week and is sitting in 3rd place overall club rider in front of 4th place Ryan Sipes.


I was able to get to one test today. The riders have referred to this test as the “Glen Helen” test.



This Italian fan was asking Josh and Justin Sode for their “signatures” this morning on his Italian flag. This guy has no idea who they are other than the fact that they’re wearing a U.S. jersey.


This is actually a picture from yesterday at the Padru special test, but I wanted to show the “scene” so you can get a feel for how many bikes and people are around along with the setting of the test.


At the end of today, the ISDE yard sale started. These guys scored a deal on a bunch of used tires.


AC/DC Italian style


Josh removing his bike from impound for Day 5.


It’s funny the little things you learn while here. The guy to Josh’s right that is being interviewed is Italian racer Tullio Pellegrinelli. Neither I nor Josh had any idea who he was, but it turns out he is a very famous Italian enduro racer from the 90’s era primarily, having won an overall Enduro World Championship and multi-time ISDE racer. He was on Josh’s minute today and he said that every time they came to a special test or a location where there were a lot of fans, they would go nuts cheering and chasing him. Josh couldn’t figure out what the big deal was until after the day when he found out he was basically riding with an Italian legend in his home country.


Justin Sode, special test 2, Day 5.


Josh Knight, Special Test 2, Day 5




Brian Storrie


Sam Buffa



Trevor Kline


Jeff Fredette




Jeff O’Leary



This guy was trying to keep the lathe in the ground on the last turn before the finish of the test. Each time a rider drifts wide, it would knock down lathe. You can see how in some instances the lathe is doubled and tripled up. The lathe at the ISDE is not like what we use at home. These are 2x2 posts with large thick tape. Just proof of how much the riders on the gas.


Keith Curtis.





Scott Bright



Shawn O’Leary


I want to give a little perspective on the scene and atmosphere at the tests. Here are food vendors where you can get Pollo (chicken), Porcetto (pork/sausage), or Lasagna…..none of it very good. Unfortunately, the food here has been a huge disappointment and kind of a running joke about how bad it is. Today we bailed on our pre-paid hotel meals and went back to the Chinese restaurant for the best food we’ve had in Italy in two weeks.


Jeremy Shoning


A little more perspective of the “Glen Helen” test.



The Trophy Team riders coming into Special Test 5 (same as Test 2). They bring in the umbrella girls and loud announcer just for the Trophy guys. The place went nuts for Alex Salvini and the rest of the Italian riders.



Taylor Robert was the first American at the tests today. Here gets ready for Test 5, along with the obnoxious French fan, complete with blow up dolls and air horns.

Kurt Caselli, same scene.




Remember the guy that wanted Josh’s autograph on his flag in the morning…..he showed up here too.


I like taking pictures of fans.


French rider, Antoine Meo. He won this test by over 6 seconds on second place. The closest American was Taylor Robert almost 20 seconds back. He was 35 seconds faster than Kurt Caselli. It’s almost incomprehensible sometimes to think about how someone can go that fast.


Italian Alex Salvini, 2nd overall for this test.


Another “perspective” shot. I stood there and tried to soak it all in, with a bit of a pit in my stomach knowing this was all coming to an end.


Taylor Robert. Check out the fans getting out of the way of his roost.


Me taking a picture of a guy taking a picture of his friend in front of his favorite trophy rider.


Kurt Caselli


Zach Osborne




Kailub Russell


Kailub almost caught Zach Osborne in this test. You can seem them both in the S-turns before the finish.


Mike Brown


Thad DuVall


Charlie Mullins


Jessie Groemm


Andrew Delong


This poor Swedish Junior Trophy rider blew the corner. It was a 180 degree off-camber turn at the bottom of a steep hill and his support crew was cheering him on at the bottom and distracted him.


Grant Baylor


We stopped on our way back to the paddock to run an errand. This should give some perspective on what the riders have to ride coming in and out of the paddock each day. Andrew Delong is buried there in the traffic and other motorcycles.


Relief (and pain) at the end of Day 5.


Monte the therapist was busy working over all the riders at the end of the day.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:18 PM   #72
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Thanks again for the killer reports and pics--the one of Taylor Robert roosting the crowd is awesome!

Finish strong, Josh!
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Old 10-05-2013, 06:05 AM   #73
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Thanks for all the photos Jeremy Shoning, he is an Iowa native. I raced with his dad in the 70's. Have spent many hours riding with Jeremy.
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:31 AM   #74
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As many have said before me--Thank you for posting these photos and reports from the field. I find myself holding my breath as I read thru your report of the days activities and looking at the spectacular photos.
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Old 10-05-2013, 01:04 PM   #75
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Way to go USA!!!!
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