i'm not a racer nor have experience in racing. just an outsider getting inside.
top contenders are excellent riders, have seasoned support crew and most likely finish the race without a glitch. they will trade off any thing that will weigh them down for performance. they're in the race for the podium.
the rest of the riders are there for fun and personal reason. when things break loose....it becomes a survival run. fun ends when the rider crashes and left alone and/or darkness falls. it will boil down to the rider and his crew to make it work and finish the stage. logistically, communication is the prime importance. radio, sat phone, wifi, spot etc., any of those can be a game changer or life saver.
as for the crew, driving at night in mexico is not fun. at 11 pm, we encountered a cow in the middle of the road, and miss it by a foot. we could have warned the other support trucks behind us if we had comm. luckily non of them hit the cow.
experience is a good thing, but not all has it. what works for them may not work for all. only thing common is we're all vulnerable.