Courtesy of Sharon Cox
Maria Franke has won 2019 ISDE Women’s Enduro Championship as best individual Women rider in the 94th edition FIM International Six Day Enduro at Portimao, Portugal and silver with Team Germany trio of Women riders: Anne Borchers and Selina Schittenhelm.
In what was unexpected result for the crowned 2017 Women Enduro World Champion, Maria stove off pressure from winning Team USA riders: Becca Sheets, Brandy Richards and Tarah Geiger taking early lead in the first 3 tests before America’s riders made their presence known to eventually take ISDE Women’s Enduro Team honours on Final Day 6.
More remarkable for Maria, having given birth to first-born baby boy in 2018, was fact of sustaining physical endurance over the tough 6 day event. Competing against seasoned world class Enduro riders in field of 14 Women’s Teams with total of 50 starters, Franke paved formidable pathway for Women to race at highest level- given time-training restrictions.
Maria: ‘I did not expect the win at all. Neither the Women’s Enduro Trophy as the best driver nor the silver medal for the team, because I did not train so much recently’.
‘This year I raced in the German Championship and the ISDE and I won both. It has been really great. Also, really great to race with Anne who competed in her first Enduro at the six days’.
With the first two days of the ISDE Enduro Motocross-heavy, days 3-4 were tough enduro tests which Maria put experience to the test, boosting Team rider Anne Borchers to rise to the challenge.
Maria: ‘Partly it was with the sandy sections and rocky passages around Zschopau which proved tough racing. Greatest respect to Anne that she has done it. From a technical point of view, she was not used to it and racing took alot of power from the rider. It was important for me and for the Team, to keep going and to finish’.
Having finished Vice Women’s Enduro World Title holders 2019, Maria now rests, recovers, and looks onwards to 2020 season- albeit with baby first and foremost by her side.