One of the most talented riders competing at this year’s FIM International Six Days of Enduro is Spain’s Sandra Gomez. A three-time ISDE competitor having raced at the event in Spain, Chile, and Portugal, as a regular Women’s TrialGP and hard enduro competitor, Sandra certainly knows what it is to take on a challenge.
“For me the ISDE is a special race, you spend the year just racing for yourself and not thinking about anyone else so it’s great to change to that team spirit,” offers Sandra. “I’m mostly riding hard enduro and the ISDE is totally different. Both types of races are long hours, but at the Six Days you’re stopping from time to time and trying to remember the special tests. In hard enduro you just go and never stop during the day. I like going to ISDE so I can get out of my comfort zone.”
Well used to competing alone, often for hours at a time, being a part of a team is one of the things what Sandra likes most about the ISDE. “The ISDE is a team race, like the Trial des Nations. I really like that. You also have to come up with a team strategy, to think about being better as a team. You have to spend the whole race thinking about the team. In my opinion that’s key to getting a good result. We did it this way in Chile and we got on the podium, so we’ll do it again this year.”
Finishing third in the Women’s World Trophy competition in Chile in 2018 with her Spanish team mates, Sandra’s got her first taste of the ISDE on home soil in 2016. “We got second place as a team and it was a great experience, but I was so tired after the race. I wasn’t ready for the challenge if I’m honest, I wasn’t even riding hard enduro at that time so I wasn’t used to long days on the bike. But it’s a special race and I loved it.”
At this year’s ISDE Sandra will compete alongside two equally talented young Spaniards – Mireia Badia and Julia Campo in what will be one of the strongest teams in the Women’s World Trophy Competition. “For sure Mireia is the best rider in our team, she’s having a great season. She just focuses in traditional enduro and she has even won a round of the FIM World championship this year.”
“I just change between disciplines, which I love, but it’s difficult to be keep the speed needed for racing on the special tests. Anyway, I did a round of the Spanish national enduro championship this year and I even manage to beat Mireia on one day, so we’ll see what happens. We have Julia Campo who’s new to the team but she has been training hard all year and we will be there to help her in anything she needs. We’ll give it our all and see how it goes.”
So, with three highly talented riders, and with the speed and experience needed to challenge for victory, can Spain win the Women’s World Trophy competition in Italy? “We’ll have to see, the Six Days is a long race so anything can happen,” admits Sandra honestly. “I don’t want to just think about winning only. Sadly, some of the strong teams are not coming this year, but you can never count out the northern European teams, the English team, or the USA team.”
“Obviously, we will start with a winning mentality, but let’s just go test by test trying to do the best we can. We have Mireia Badia on our side who is riding incredibly good this year so that’s great for us. Speaking about myself, maybe I’ll need a test or two to find my rhythm but after that my plan is to go as fast as I can. Let’s see, we will start with winning in the back of our heads but it’s a difficult task at the ISDE.”
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