Stefan Merriman Top Rider at ISDE

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Team Husqvarna rider Stefan Merrimanrode decisively to the overall win in the 75th running of theInternational Six Days Enduro. Piloting Husqvarna's new 2001 TE400four-stroke, Merriman covered over 900 grueling miles in and aroundGrenada, Spain. In doing so, he ended a 30-year stronghold by two-strokeson the top finishing spot.

Merriman rode his TE400 to a 14-second lead over the runner up, Mika Ahola...

"This year has been a dream year for me," said Merriman after crossingthe finish line, "just after winning the 250 world enduro championshipon the Husky WR250, and now taking the overall win at the Six Days on anew TE400, a bike I only started riding 2 weeks ago. Compared to thetwo strokes, the four stroke allowed me to ride stronger through-out theentire race. I know that next year I'll be racing in the world endurochampionship with the Husqvarna TE 400."

Not willing to let his Husqvarna teammate enjoy all the glory,multi-time ISDE champion Anders Eriksson rode his new Husqvarna 2001TE570 to the open class win, taking the third overall spot with it.Winning four out of five days of the 'special test' race format, (thesixth day was cancelled due to excessive dust) Erickson edged out thealways fast, former Husqvarna team rider Kari Tianen by 20 seconds.

Husqvarna also gave strong indication that it will soon be in a positionto extend their command of the four-stroke classes to the lightweightclass as well. The ISDE saw the first trial of Husqvarna's 250ccfour-stroke prototypes in competition. Though their presence at theISDE was more of a proof-of-concept test than an actual competitionscenario, one the prototypes, piloted by Portuguese rider BartoszOblucky nonetheless garnered fifth in class honors. Italian riderRoberto Bazzurri, also riding one of the 250 prototypes, was in the huntfor the class win before crashing out in a special test on the fifthday. He was attempting a pass for the lead when he crashed, dislocatinghis shoulder and ending his race.

International Six Days Enduro, Grenada, Spain(Oct. 31-Nov. 5, 2000)Overall:1. Merriman (Husqvarna TE400)2. Ahola ™3. Eriksson (Husqvarna TE570)125 Class:1. Salminen (KTM)2. Scovolo (Yam)3. Villanova (Hon)250 Class:1. Ahola ™2. Agra (KTM)3. Watts (KTM)250 4St Class:1. Rubin (KTM)2. Martin (Yam)3. Nicoli (KTM)400 4St Class:1. Merriman (Husqvarna TE400)2. Fretigne (Yam)3. Sala (KTM)500 4St Class:1. Eriksson (Husqvarna TE570)2. Tiainen (KTM)3.Farioli (KTM)
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