Stage Six – Arica to Calama – 769km
A stroke of good luck hits Team Delta Kunststoffe Husqvarna UK and despite the fast and dangerous nature of the stage Simon claims another solid result.
Stage six of the Dakar brought about the start of the truly gruelling stages of this years Dakar. The tiredness has set in with all the competitors and the two hour time difference in Chile means that the 769km stage was made even harder.
The racing was broken into two sections, split with a timed liaison on the road. The first half of the stage was technical and sandy riding, that suited Simon’s riding style and he made good progress, catching and passing many riders.
Around the half way point in the stage the terrain changed, becoming much faster, dustier and dangerous. Not suiting Simon’s conservative style his hard work in the morning was slowly undone. Despite this he once again climbed in the general standings,
– “Today I had real stroke of luck just before the beginning of the special stage. I snuck off to go to the toilet behind some rocks and as I was squatted down I noticed the exhaust bracket had broken off. Sometimes you need that sort of luck!
The stage was split into two vastly different stages. The first section was great. It was technical, physical and hard going. It really suited me, I was riding well and picked off a bunch of riders quickly, it’s the type of riding I love.
The second half was everything I don’t like however. The terrain changed completely, we went onto tracks, it was dusty, extremely fast and dangerous really. I don’t like to take the risk and ride full gas, but a lot of the guys I’d passed are happy to ride like that. It cost me time but I have to accept it.
The tiredness has really set in now too. Today was long and things are accumulating. We lost two hours sleep last night and had a five am start. The team was already tired before that too, as the night Don went out was hard for us all, now it’s getting really tough. We have another difficult day again tomorrow, it’s 800km and the stage goes over 4000m and we are racing at that altitude too.”
For stage seven the rally crosses another border into Argentina. Travelling from Calama to Salta the stage is a gruelling 751 km.
Simon Pavey – 65th – 04:40:43
Simon Pavey – 71st – 20:42:48
For latest photos click HERE
For a brief interview with Si on stage yesterday by Michael Guy of MCN click HERE
. Si is on from 3:20