Belen to Belen

Today’s stage was crazy hard. The heat played a big factor along with the difficult navigation. The stage was so hard in fact that the race was stopped at checkpoint 2 for all competitors.

Carlos Sainz took the lead in the cars today while Stefan Peterhansel and Loeb were having their own problems. Anything can happen in the Dakar Rally. Gordon lost more time yesterday.  Seems like he can’t get a break.

In the motorcycle category Toby price extended his deck Harley with a win even though the stage was stopped at checkpoint two. Toby is very used to riding in the heat expecially where he comes from in Australia. He is now 24 minutes up on 2nd overall and is looking good for the final stretch.

Goncalves had a hard day in the saddle has he both crashed and had a mechanical and stated in an interview that he was lucky to get through the stage. On the American side of things Ricky Brabec is now sitting in 8 and moving towards the top five overall. Frenchmen Alan Duclos moved down in the standings and sitting 12th and David Casteu is now 17.

Ian Black is sitting 32nd, Alexander Smith is now 40th, Bright is sitting 55th and Giterre may have moved back in the standings as his results are not yet published. I hear Bright is nursing a wrist or arm injury that he received prior to the Dakar, so kudos to him for sticking it out and making it work, that is definitely some tough Dakar spirit!

The heat can be difficult to deal with especially on a motorcycle and all of the gear that must be worn. The temperature felt by the body is often higher than that of the outside temperature because they are sweating and there is limited air flow because of the gear. I remember that we raced in 120 degree Fahrenheit temperatures in Mauritania through the Sahara Desert and Fabrizio Meioni just demolished the field. It was a testament to this man physical fitness and his ability to ride the 650 and 950 cc KTM motorcycles.

I hope all the competitors are hydrating themselves and preparing for tomorrow because it will also be a hot day in the Dakar Rally.