Daniel Milner makes it four successive A4DE crowns
CDR Yamaha’s Daniel Milner has written himself into the record books by taking out his fourth Australian Four Day Enduro (A4DE) title on the trot at Blackwood Park in Penguin on Saturday.
After leading from start to finish all week, the 24-year-old secured the victory with a second placing in the final E2 class moto behind Active8 Yamaha’s Beau Ralston on day four – topping off a typically polished A4DE campaign.
Milner’s fourth A4DE title sees him join Stefan Merriman as the second most successful rider in the event’s history behind six-time winner Shane Watts.
Milner (also E2 class winner) finished a minute and 27 seconds ahead of KTM Enduro Racing Team’s Matthew Phillips in the outright standings, with Phillips’ delighting his home fans in Tasmania by taking out the E3 class.
Matt Phillips – KTM 300 EXC – “It was a good week and pretty crazy. It was cool to be racing here and pretty interesting to see the support we got from the locals. It was awesome! There were chainsaws without blades and all sorts of things going on. I don’t know the numbers but there were a lot more people here than I’ve ever seen at a four-day before, so that was pretty cool. My run was nice and cruisy, I just didn’t get it done yesterday; I couldn’t find my lines, but the rest of the days I felt pretty good and had a bit of fun. It was good fun riding with Chucks and Toby today as well. The KTM guys rode really well and they were well organised, and accommodated my mechanic Stef. I’d also like to thank my Mum and Dad as well because they were a big part of organising this week as well. I’m looking forward to coming back and joining the crew again one day.”
KTM Enduro Racing Team’s Daniel Sanders – who won a thrilling E3 class moto – completed the outright podium, while teammate Toby Price and Active8 Yamaha’s Josh Green rounded out the top five.
Daniel ‘Chucky’ Sanders – KTM 300 EXC – “Probably the best four-day I’ve done. Awesome Trail and big long tests which sorted the boys out. The final motocross track was sick and I won the final E3 Moto which was awesome because I had never won a moto before! It was good to win that in front of the Price and Matty on his home track too, that was a good feeling. I just had two crashes on day two when it rained, but everyone crashed that day it was that wet and slippery it was that hard to keep it upright. But the rest of the week I was really smooth and consistent and that’s what I was sort of aiming for – to keep it upright and then pin it in the tests. A just had to keep the bike maintained, which is pretty easy with the KTM’s – they are pretty bullet-proof. Especially the 300s! I also enjoyed riding with Phillips on the trail, we had some fun mucking around, it was just an awesome race.”
For Toby Price, the four-day was the outing on Australian soil before committing exclusively to his rally career with the Red Bull KTM Team, and though the Maitland ace wanted dearly to end on a high note, Australia’s king of off-road racing was characteristically philosophical and upbeat at the end of a majestic 2015 which has included wins at Finke, Hattah, the AORC and a podium finish in his maiden Dakar Rally.
Toby Price – KTM 300 EXC – “It hasn’t been the best week for us, we tried our best and it wasn’t the result we wanted for our last four-day, but now the contract starts for all the rally stuff so I will be full gas with that now. Once we got a few tests under our belt the fatigue set in a little bit; my test times were a long way off, but crashes hindered us as well. At the end of the day the guys upfront were on pace and killing it so there are no excuses for my side, we did the best we could. Changing from the Rally bike back to the 300 is a big difference but I started to feel a bit better each day. It’s been a good four-day the first time in Tassie here, there was good country for it and the tests they marked out were awesome, so it’s been a great experience to come down for the first time. These boys in the team have been pretty much like family when we go away, so I’m definitely going to miss working with them.”
Josh Green claimed his first Four Day E1 class title and fifth overall, following on from his 2015 Australian Off-Road Championship title in the same class.
The only member of the factory KTM team not competing in the E3 class, Tye Simmonds completed his first A4DE – and his first full season in Australian off-road racing – with a creditable second place in the E1 class behind Josh Green and eighth outright, the former motocross pro reminding everyone of his background with a demonstrative win in today’s final motocross.
Tye Simmonds – KTM 250 EXC “It’s been a good event and good fun but I’m a bit disappointed with my performance, but that’s the way it goes. I had a pretty decent crash in prologue, so then we started a bit further back on day one which hurt, but some tests I did really well and some I struggled with, but the 250F was unreal; I was happy with that, and couldn’t have asked for a better thing to do the four-day on, it never missed a beat. Final moto today was good, I got the holeshot and sort of put down three really good laps, but then just got a bit of arm pump – I wanted to win by a lot more, but that’s the way it goes. I’m pretty pumped to get this first year done and dusted with no injuries and lots of good experiences, and I’m definitely looking forward to adding a decent off-season and actually getting some training done and being bike fit and seeing what sort of damage we can do next year.”
As expected, each of Tayla Jones (Women’s), Damian Smith (Veterans) and David Fleming (Masters) maintained the lead they carried into the last day to take out their respective classes.
Yamaha Racing’s Jones put an exclamation mark on her first A4DE title by winning the final moto by 14 seconds over Tasmanian Sophie Coldicutt.
Both Smith and Fleming had their classifications all but wrapped up heading into the final day, but completed the job in fine style with resounding wins in the final motos for their respective classes.
In a remarkable display of longevity, both have now moved into double digits in terms of Australian Four Day Enduro class titles.
In the Trophy Team competitions, the Victorian team of Milson, Sanders, Peter Boyle, Chris Davey, Riley Graham and Tom Mason ended New South Wales’ five year stranglehold on the Senior Trophy, while Tasmania led by local hero Phillips recorded the first Junior Trophy Team win in the state’s history.
New South Wales made the most of a time penalty suffered by day three leaders Queensland early on the final day trail ride to take out the Women’s Team Trophy.
2015 Yamaha A4DE outright top 10
1. Daniel Milner 3:07:30.489
2. Matt Phillips 3:08:57.680
3. Daniel Sanders 3:10:27.687
4. Toby Price 3:12:15.821
5. Josh Green 3:12:37.981
6. Chris Hollis 3:13:16.828
7. Lachlan Stanford 3:14:26.158
8. Tye Simmonds 3:14:32.649
9. Glenn Kearney 3:15:02.924
10. Peter Boyle 3:17:57.128
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