Team Delta Kunststoffe Husqvarna UK riders, Simon Pavey and Don Hatton, complete the first stage with out incident.
The first stage of the 2013 was almost entirely liaison, with a 13km special stage to finish the long ride out of Lima. The 250km liaison brought about it's own challenges as well, with the thick traffic and fans slowing down competitors and creating a melee on the roads.
Don Hatton - " The stage today was really boring, the liaison was long and slow. There was so much traffic on the road, it took hours to get to the special stage. People were driving like crazy and we had to fight our way through. The special stage went okay for me, I haven't ridden sand in a long time and I'm still trying to come to terms with it again. A few people passed me in the stage, but it was decent, I didn't have any problems and the bike felt really good."
While Simon's Dakar 2013 preparations have been fantastic, the Australian was hit with a dose of food poisoning the night before the start. Getting little sleep or food, the stage was always going to be tough. Despite this Simon soldiered on through his illness to take a respectable 60th overall result.
Simon Pavey - " Last night was the worst possible start I could have imagined for the race. I felt much better this morning. The liaison section was crazy too. The stage was only short, but it was fun. I love riding sand and the whole course was really fast rolling dunes, top gear most of the way round. The real race starts tomorrow, it looks like the stage is going to be surprisingly long and difficult with the last 40km standing out especially. It's hot out here too, I expect the sand will be soft. "
Stage two is loop stage, 242km special stage and 85km liaison. The stage is almost entirely sand and marks the beginning of a tough few days for the team.
Simon Pavey 69th Overall - 0:46.55
Don Hatton 179th Overall - 1:16.20
Dreaming of Dakar
Everyone has a max speed, 90% of that max speed is much safer and easier, and if that 90% speed isn't fast enough at Dakar, you enter the snowball. - neduro