6 DAYS JUNIOR WORLD TROPHY
Riders: Thibaut Giraudon, Antoine Alix, Leo Joyon
Manager: Pierre-Marie Castella
FRENCH SNATCH VICTORY!
Showcasing the skills of the leading young Enduro riders on the planet, the FIM International Six Days’ Enduro (ISDE) Junior World Trophy competition provides a valuable insight into the riders to watch in the future and the evidence from Argentina in 2023 clearly indicates how healthy the sport is in France.
The nation has been a major player in this specialised discipline for many years with eight World Trophy victories since 2001 and although the Senior squad has not won since 2017, this season’s Junior triumph – their seventh in this incredibly competitive class since 2002 – paints a picture of a sport that is thriving at a younger level in France.
Comprising Thibaut Giraudon - Sherco, Antoine Alix - Beta and Leo Joyon - Beta, the French trio trailed Sweden and Italy after the opening day and following day two they were still holding down third with the USA replacing Italy in the silver medal position.
The third day of competition in South America saw the French trio move ahead of the USA into second, although Sweden still held an advantage of almost twelve minutes at the halfway mark.
Despite determined efforts by the French team, the Swedish lead was extended to over sixteen minutes on day four and following day five with just the Motocross tests on the final day to go, France trailed the Swedes by almost twenty-two minutes.
With a commanding advantage heading into the final day of racing, Sweden then suffered the heartbreak of watching their lead disappear thanks to a mechanical issue with one of their team bikes that allowed the French to leap to the front followed by the USA.
FIM International Six Days’ Enduro Junior World Trophy Champions: 2002, 2003, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2023
FRANCE'S STARS OF THE FUTURE
Not to be outdone by their senior class team-mates, France’s FIM Junior World Trophy team also claimed ISDE victory on home soil in Brive, finishing on top of a thrilling two-nation fight to the very end of the final day against Italy. Reigning champions Sweden got their title defence off to the best possible start by topping the opening day some twenty-eight seconds ahead of Italy, but their challenge was effectively over on day two when Mikael Persson (Yamaha) ran into technical issues and failed to finish the day, allowing the USA to take over at the top.
Third on day one and second on day two, the French trio of Jeremy Miroir (Husqvarna), Hugo Blanjoue (Yamaha) and Anthony Geslin (Beta) stepped up on day three, finishing twenty-six seconds ahead of Italy to open up a thirty-nine second lead over their Transalpine neighbours as the USA dropped back to third. With just 0.07 seconds between France and Italy on a close day four, France managed to re-establish a twenty-eight second advantage by the end of day four although there was still no room for error during the final full day of competition, with the USA also just under two-minutes behind the leaders.
Italy went on the offensive during the final day motocross races but France hung on to take the overall win by a slender fifteen seconds, much to the delight of the thousands of spectators who turned out to enjoy the thrilling finale. Italy hung on to the runner-up spot ahead of day-six winners the USA, who rounded out the podium.