Today we will race a shortened stage due to the heavy rain and flooded marathon paddock!
First shake off the cold, exhausting & long road stage and then concentrate on the start!
Another great day today! In the paddock, people start talking of the "Polar Dakar" 😅. I never thought that even daytimes it could become so cold here. This also is a torture on the stage! This morning at 4:30 AM I started to get off to the Special Stage wearing thermal clothing and still almost was freezing to death .
The beautiful pictures are often deceptive and usually is much harder than one can imagine in his wildest dreams.
" Blowning " through the desert all day today long with UAE legend & RED BULL athlete Mohammed Al Balooshi
The day started off pretty well again. I was able to achieve good pace straight away and managed to hang on Mohammed Al Balloshi. The special was incredibly fast ... full throttle all day long! That wasn't to my taste at all, as I normally prefer more technical tracks. By fast I mean well over 100 km / h avergae! I always loose time on the fast stretches because I simply lack routine and confidence. In contrast to that I manage to gain time in the dunes, but mostly can't make up teh lost time in the dunes compaired to the gain on a " fill throttle stretch " over 20 minutes 😬
About halfway through, a rider ahead of me had broken his collarbone and I decided to take it a little more save till the end, to avoid being part of riders already retired!
Technical problems, crashes, ben run over by a car in the dunes, etc. It's far beyond someone can imagine, if he didn't go through this by his own. I didn't think it would be so hard 😬
" Full Throttle " wenever you get the chance to go for - no time for strolling at the Dakar
I'll have to take it easier now. My body is still in top shape except the wrists that are starting to hurt due to my surgery and the lack of training during the last few months. Overall, I am satisfied with teh day 😊
Incidentally, on the stage this morning I almost fell asleep because being soo tired. Today at noon I almost hit stray dog on the road - I was just able to avoid him 😏 I have to concentrate even more on the streets for the next few days. You can hear a lot about what has happened on the intermediate stages over the last few years, which has cost the Dakar for some participants!
Tomorrow there will be the longest and also a very fast "Special Stage". It will probably be one of the toughest this year too!