STAGE 11 - A total of 501Km where 346Km Spezial Stage !
Today's stage will probably be a deciding one for the factory teams - Sam Sunderland obviously got off the best of it and is now almost uncatchable ahead of the final day tomorroe - but you never know - it's the Dakar!
The day required lot of navigation and confusion for the online followers on the screens ... not les than 65 riders were reported as having failed to find the 1st waypoint. Even the cars had people missing out there ... petrhansel was among them!
Ultimately, this seems to having been a program error? ... at the ranking tables there were no penalties showing up ...
Why am I explaining that? I myself was one of the affected riders - caught the WP 1 on the GPS optimally, logged in and was still displayed as "not approached"?
Dust bothered me a lot at the beginning and it's really not great ... now it's part of my everyday life & my DAKAR!
That was a stage we surely all wanted to race every day! Very varied, demanding and hard!
I decided this morning to keep my pace in limits and try to avoid mistakes. I did that - it worked - and it therefore was a perfect day! Many riders got lost, fell and lost everything they had invested so close to the finish line.
Of course, I also had a few small mistakes in between - nobody gets through a Dakar day without making mistakes :)
But in the end they didn't cost me a lot of time. Twice I got stuck up to my knees in a dune and really briefly doubted whether I could even get the bike out 😳.
With a lot of strength, violence and a lot more "last will" I finally made it! Later I missed the edge of a dune and speedy jumped down some 5 meters into a flat landing (... same as Daniel Sanders did on day 2). It was almost over then and I had to stop and take a deep breath because I already ahd stars appearing in front of my face 🌟
On the way back to the paddock, a jeep stopped next to me at the traffic light, with 4 children around 10-15 years old.. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry 😅 almost like at the Kaiserstuhl! No kidding aside.. unfortunately that's normal here 😳
Tomorrow is the last stage on the program! I've worked my way up into the top 50 now from way down the last week. The last five stages went almost perfectly and I decided not to take more risks tomorrow and bring result home 🏁✔️
Today's result roughly reflects my current performance when I'm driving 100% safely!
PLACE 43 in the Special Stage & up to place 50 in the overall standings!
Some " DAKAR FEELING " for everyone :)