The opening day saw riders take on five tests at the birthplace of Australian Enduro Cessnock, New South Wales, with dusty conditions putting the riders to work over the MXStore, Ballards, Funnel Web and KTM/Husqvarna tests.
Milner is a four-time A4DE champion and did it show on the opening day, putting on a whooping 18 seconds on his nearest rival in the first test. With a point to prove after his third-place finish at the 2016 A4DE, Milner is a man on a mission with a point to prove here at Cessnock, finishing with an overall time of 34:55.842. Lachlan Stanford has the tough task of trying to reign Milner in over the next three days, as he sits in second position with a time of 36:26.891, over a minute a drift of Milner. Broc Grabham rounds out the top three in E3, completing day one with a time of 36:50.180 leaving Grabham with a bit of work to do to chase down Stanford.
E3 Class winner Milner was happy with his form on the opening day; It was good out there; the grass track out at the MXStore test was a great test and it really suited me on the 500. I went down in the Ballards test but still managed to take the win there and get a solid time, and then I just tried to stay consistent for the rest of the day and came away on top with a good time, Milner finished.
Returning to the A4DE after taking out the E3 class in 2016, Sanders looks at home in the E2 class aboard his Husqvarna and after a slow start to the day, he finished well to stop the clock at 35:23.822. Sanders will be a tough man to chase over the next three days, but Lyndon Snodgrass aboard his KTM Enduro Racing Team will begin the chase tomorrow as he sits in second with a time of 36:09.835. Josh Green will be pushing his Active8 Yamalube Yamaha again on day two after a solid day one, sitting in third position after finishing the day with a 36:13.750
Sanders enjoyed the opening day of the A4DE on his new Husqvarna; Yeah its more of a relief, and I was struggling a lot at the start of the day, but we changed a few things on the bike and we picked up some good time. Milner has a pretty good lead now, but we move our focus onto tomorrow and concentrate on the track and the new test which will be good, but it will be a tuff again tomorrow, added Sanders.
Jack Simpson took on the dusty conditions and put his motocross background to great use at Cessnock on the opening day of A4DE. Simpson aboard his KTM got off to a great start in the first test and continued his form throughout the next four tests, finishing in the lead with a time of 36:13.271. The battle in E1 is close with Husqvarnas Fraser Higlett nabbing at Simpsons heels in second position, just three seconds behind the leader with a 36:16.355. Third position went to Luke Styke aboard his Active8 Yamalube Yamaha, who has again impressed since moving over from motocross. Styke stopped the clock at 36:16.805 in his first A4DE, and leaves the E1 class wide open heading into day two.
Day 1 A4DE E3 Provisional Results
1. Daniel Milner (KTM Enduro Racing Team) 34:55.842
2. Lachlan Stanford (Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team) 36:26.891
3. Broc Grabham 36:50.180
4. Thomas Mason 37:03.566
5. Andrew Wilksch (Motul Pirelli Sherco Team) 37:15.654
6. Kane Hall 37:27.214
7. Stuart Holt 38:15.471
8. Jesse Lawton 38:21.065
9. Max Viasch 38:54.852
10. Kade Dorrington 39:23.936
Day 1 A4DE E2 Provisional Results
1. Daniel Sanders (Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team) 35:23.822
2. Lyndon Snodgrass (KTM Enduro Racing Team) 36:09.835
3. Joshua Green (Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Off-Road Team) 36:13.750
4. Will Ruprecht (Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Off-Road Team) 36:34.057
5. Christopher Hollis 36:35.672
6. Scott Keegan 36:49.818
7. Stefan Granquist 37:11.768
8. Geoff Braico 37:13.402
9. Jarrod Bewely 37:18.289
10. Tom Kite 37:50.253
Day 1 A4DE E1 Provisional Results
1. Jack Simpson 36:13.271
2. Fraser Higlett (Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team) 36:16.355
3. Luke Styke (Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Off-Road Team) 36:16.805
4. Michael Driscoll (Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Off-Road Team) 36:32.729
5. Jeremy Carpentier (Yamaha MX Store Ballards Off-Road Team) 37:13.110
6. Nic Tomilson 37:19.020
7. Brad Hardaker 38:11.453
8. Peter-Daniel Allen 38:57.646
9. Mitchell Brierley 38:58.815
10. Bradley Redman 39:15.560
The action continues tomorrow from 7:30am with the riders facing 11 tests and covering up to 150km, to keep up with all the happenings at the 2018 Yamaha Australian Four Day Enduro by visiting the A4DE website! or by following the A4DE on Facebook and Instagram.
Photos courtesy of John Pearson Media