Story: Noel Flatters | Direct Motocross Western Bureau | Superfine Media
November 6th 2023 | Calgary Alberta

A Brutal Day in the Argentinian Desert

The 2023 International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) got underway today in San Juan, Argentina. Located near the base of the Andes, relatively close to the Chilean border, the region is an arid desert plain with low hills that quickly change to 6000m mountain peaks.

Team Canada ISDE is represented on the men’s World Trophy side this year by Philippe Chainé (KTM Canada), Owen McKill (GasGas Canada), Tyler Medaglia (Thor GasGas Racing), and Jared Stock (KTM Canada). The Canadian women’s World Trophy team consists of Natasha Lachapelle, Félicia Robichaud, and Emma Sharpless (KTM Canada).

Team Canada ISDE 2023. Back row, left to right: Philippe Chainé; Jared Stock; Tyler Medaglia; Owen McKill. Front row, left to right: Natasha Lachapelle; Félicia Robichaud; Emma Sharpless.

After spending the previous week in San Juan getting acclimated, walking the special tests, and getting the bikes ready and into impound, today was go-time for the team. The big story of the day was the conditions. Brutal 40c heat, combined with technical transfers in between the special tests, turned what team member Jared Stock characterized as a “nothing crazy course” into what he said was “Miiiight have been top two of the hardest pushes I’ve ever had to do on a bike.” The impact of these technical transfer sections was magnified in three ways today.

First, riders had to push hard in these tough conditions to even make the time cuts for the next tests. Stock noted that he and his teammates were arriving at test starts after riding hard with approximately six minutes to spare, on average, before cutoffs, allowing little margin for error or for rehydration and nutrition.

Second, speeds through the transfers were slow, which meant that riders were not able to get any real cooling effects from generated wind.

Third, riders were up on their pegs throughout the vast majority of the transfers resulting in them standing for close to 90% of the seven-hour day.

Tyler Medaglia (Thor GasGas Racing) gets ready to leave the paddock for day 1 of the 2023 ISDE in San Juan, Argentina.

The Canadian men got off to a solid start in their 2023 ISDE campaign today. Led by Tyler Medaglia in P22, along with Owen McKill in P28,  Jared Stock in P32, and Philippe Chainé in P37, the team finished up Day 1 in 8th overall just under a minute behind Team Argentina for 7th overall.

2023 Enduro world champion Josep Garcia (Spain – KTM Factory Racing) took P1 on day 1, with a 12.96 second win over Andrea Verona (Italy – GasGas Factory Racing) and a 1’12.84 lead over Dante Oliviera (USA – FMF KTM Factory Racing). Team USA leads the overall standings after Day 1, with a 1’55.20 edge over second place Great Britain and a 2’42.94 lead on third overall France.

Tyler Medaglia was the leading member of the Team Canada ISDE on day 1, with a P22 overall finish in brutal conditions.
Team Canada ISDE World Tropy Team member Owen McKill on his way to P28 in the desert heat of day 1. “Day 1 went pretty good for me, took a bit of adjusting to get used to the terrain and get comfortable but after the first transfer section I felt pretty good. Test one I lacked the aggression and it turned out to be my worst test of the day. No crashes just not attacking things the way I should. I found the aggression that I needed as the day went on and posted some good times. The heat got to my head a little bit towards the end of the second lap and fatigue started to set in! Made it through the day unscathed for the most part, looking forward to dropping the hammer tomorrow.”
Jared Stock came home in 32 overall for Day 1 of the 2023 ISDE in San Juan, Argentina. “This was a high-stress day of constant focus and go-go-go for seven hours.”
Philippe Chainé sends it on his way to P37 on day 1 of the 2023 ISDE.


It was a particularly rough day for the Canadian women in San Juan with both Emma Sharpless and Natasha Lachapelle having to withdraw. Sharpless was taken down by a mechanical issue that developed after a fall and fuel leak, and Lachapelle fell victim to the heat. Félica Robichaud came in with a solid P15, but with ISDE rules adding the maximum time penalty of three hours each day per rider out of the race she’ll be racing for individual results for the remaining days.

Brandy Richards (USA – KTM) took a dominating P1 in the Women’s class with a 1’20.89 lead over second-place 16 year old Daniell McDonald (Australia – Yamaha JGR Ballads Offroad) and a 1’50.01 lead over Tayla Jones (Australia – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing). Australia leads the Team classification after Day 1, with a slim 2.57 second lead over Team USA. France sits in third overall, 12’11.68 back.

Félica Robichaud blowing up the course on her way to P15 on Day 1 of the 2023 ISDE in San Juan, Argentina.

Looking ahead to Day 2, the riders will be repeating the same course as today. The organization has shortened and simplified the transfer sections in response to the large number of DNFs that occurred today, and the temperatures are forecasted to be slightly lower tomorrow, which may help riders manage hydration and body temps.