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Old 03-10-2013, 05:29 AM   #211
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Lukas' summary from day one...

Tuareg Rally Day 1 (Saturday March 9th 2013) summary - #116 Lukas Matzinger

“I had a fantastic morning, a very good midday... and a horrible afternoon!” Lukas begins as he walks wearily across the bivouac towards me. “In fact I only just made it in to the final checkpoint before the cut-off time” he continues.

Not only is this Lukas’ first off-road race, but he spent nearly twenty hours yesterday undertaking final preparations to his rally bike, pausing only briefly to eat dinner before continuing on into the early hours.

“The sand just got softer and softer as the day went on, and the [high] sun made it very difficult to see the contours” he continues - “The front wheel would just dig in - I must have gone over the bars about twenty times... and then you just have to dig it out, it’s exhausting. To compound things I had less than three hours sleep last night” he admits.

Fortunately, Lukas is very pleased with his choice of the Husaburg FE570 as a rally bike “It’s almost like cheating” he grins “It is very light and narrow, and has a lot of power - it is probably the best bike here for this sort of terrain - as it doesn’t tire you out.”

“I’m a mediocre [rally] rider at best, and this bike has saved me loads of times - this is my first time riding in sand, and soft dunes, and the bike was absolutely fantastic... the only issue was later in the afternoon the bike started to stutter and lose power making longer climbs difficult - so I’ll have to look into that tonight.”

Despite experiencing a steep learning curve today, Lukas is confident he reached every checkpoint [just] in time, and hopes he has avoided any time penalties during his first day in desert rally raid.

Stage result: not available at this time

Overall position: not available at this time

#116 Lukas Matzinger completed the first stage with just 5 minutes to spare:
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:35 AM   #212
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Jean-Luc's summary from day one...

Tuareg Rally Day 1 (Saturday March 9th 2013) summary - #317 Jean-Luc Solans - Team RMS/IYSK Wines

Jean-Luc smiles as he recounts how his fellow IYSK team-mate Ned Suesse “Must have had twice the day I had - since he passed me on his second lap before I even managed to finish my single round!”

This is Jean-Luc’s first desert rally, and he admits he did struggle with the conditions onboard the big KTM 690, particularly in the soft sand. “The rear end of the bike would dig all too often” he explains [/i]“Followed by having to lay the bike down to extract it, again, all too often!”[/i]

Despite the struggle in the heat and sand, clearly Jean-Luc was enjoying himself “There is an advantage to being slower - because there is a lot to learn - to follow the GPS, read the roadbook, and to look for the easiest way through the dunes - so there was plenty to ponder at every turn” he grins.

“The start was incredible! - and so very exhilarating to be in the middle of that [mass start], - although I resisted the pressure to try and get ahead of anyone, and fortunately the group spread out quickly.”

Having also elected to take a time penalty today and conserve his energy for the rest of the race, Jean-Luc is certainly looking forward to the following days, that will leave the dunes behind after another potentially difficult section on day two: “The roadbook says there will be 25kms of fesh-fesh tomorrow” he reveals “I just hope I am able to get [up] some speed and keep moving, otherwise I may be in trouble! “Ultimately though, I am just here to learn, to see if I am physically capable of riding in rally raid - after today, I feel maybe I’m 80% there... I hope that will improve during the week!”

Jean-Luc Solans is part of the US rally team supported by Rally Management Services and If You See Kay Wines during the Tuareg Rally. He is also personally supported by Talend.

Stage result: not available at this time

Overall position: not available at this time

#317 Jean-Luc Solans and team-mate Ned Suesse compare roadbook notes:
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:40 AM   #213
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Ollie's summary from day one...

Tuareg Rally Day 1 (Saturday March 9th 2013) summary - #332 Ollie Lloyd - OWL Racing

The Rally organisation had warned the competitors to expect very soft sand dunes on this first day, and Ollie certainly found himself ‘in at the deep end’ - after getting trapped in a 6-foot deep sand bowl for an hour and a half!

“I started well, although there wasn’t really a lot of space with all the competitors starting at the same time. The first 7km [dune field] was fine, and I loved the open ground afterwards where I could make up some time. "But the second set of dunes were very soft - and they really caught me out... I ended up in a sand ‘bowl’ about six feet deep, and the bottom was the same width as the bike - there was no way out! "I dug for over an hour with my hands, and eventually used my rally jacket as a sand-ladder under the wheels... it is still out there somewhere, buried under about four feet of sand!”

Fortunately Ollie had the forethought to check the pockets before sacrificing his jacket and removed his [essential] time-card prior to disrobing. Once free of the sand trap, he was then able to navigate as far as check point 3 (of 5) on the stage.

“To be honest it had taken me so long and I was now exhausted. I considered that at least I had made it that far and not damaged myself or the bike, so I elected to take the assistance route back to the finish and accept a time penalty - particularly as I’d been advised that the softest dunes were still to come.”

“This is my first desert bike race and I’m here to gain experience and learn how a rally works. I’d got stuck a few more times after that sand bowl, and I learnt a lot about how to get the bike out of the sand more quickly, but all my energy had been used up by then.”

Ollie was certainly not the only rider to get bitten pretty hard by the soft Tunisian dunes - with many other riders suffering similar mishaps and exhaustion throughout the day. His forethought and focus on the whole event and not just a single stage result means he is able to recover and start the second day with renewed enthusiasm.

Stage result: not available at this time

Overall position: not available at this time

#332 Ollie Lloyd in the dunes at sunset after scrutineering on Friday:
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:00 AM   #214
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Awesome reporting!
(note to self, if trying this race in the future, think light bike....)
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:40 AM   #215
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A few more random photos and words...

Day 1 (yesterday) was tough, even for the more seasoned competitors and Tuareg Rally regulars like Wesley Beane (Beaney) #25:



Beaney was going really well on his big KTM 690 (with a 690RR fairing mated to Rally Raid Evo2 tanks) - finishing the first Profi lap in the top ten, and was running as high as third overall before the last checkpoint, when an over-the-bars error cost him more than an hour trying to repair broken cables and wiring... He still finished in plenty of time, but with hopes of an early lead dashed.

Similarly Torque Racing team-mate George Dennison #107 has raced the Tureag Rally in Morocco on a number of occasions... and even he found the first day in the soft Tunisian dunes hard work. If you skip back a few pages, you'll see he is sporting a rather elaborate beard (a hangover from the Movember fundraising he participates in each year) - However this morning (Day 2) it was gone... it is hot and hard work in Tunisian sand!




#87 Tony Schattat's team-mates who are all racing under the Macad banner and competing Malle Moto, were in a confident if slightly apprehensive mood before the start yesterday:

L-R: #24 Polytimi Kyriakopoulou, #22 Guillaume Martens and #86 Edward Taylor:


All of them suffered in some way during the first stage - see Brodovich's post #202 above for specific news about Timi and Guillaume's day - while Ed found for some reason he was struggling with a severe lack of power from his 300 EXC - not something you would usually attribute to that machine!

Fortunately on the way back from refueling in the evening, Tony spotted that the tail pipe was glowing red hot with the heat, and after some investigation, it turns out Ed had bought a replacement front pipe that had an emissions restrictor welded inside - severely limiting the exhaust gas exit, and no doubt the cause of his constant over-heating problems... With a quick beg and a borrow around the bivouac, Ed found a German car team who were able to slice open the pipe, removed the offending gauze, and re-weld it together again overnight - result!

And finally, as the competitors leave the soft sand behind for a few days and head north towards Gafsa, I think it was probably these guys who had the best vehicle for crossing Tunisian dunes yesterday:



As for myself, I travelled the assistance route today with Patsy in the huge Desert Rose Racing support truck, and we arrived at the second bivouac hotel in plenty of time. Fortunately I have been able to secure my own room (with like a proper bed and everything!) for tonight, and it would seem the hotel has a pretty decent wifi connection too... Although I am somewhat concerned by the 2-inch thick metal box-section bars that surround the hotel lobby front door like it's some sort of bullion vault; and similarly the huge steel shutter doors that enclose the car park like we're some kind of fortress - I hope they're not expecting trouble in Gafsa tonight!

Jx

JMo (& piglet) screwed with this post 03-10-2013 at 06:47 AM
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:51 AM   #216
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Still no results from day one?

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Old 03-10-2013, 08:16 AM   #217
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oh man this is awesome. Any news of Bart (Wildman?) COngrats to Tony S, as well, he must be having a ball
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:47 AM   #218
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadly99 View Post
Still no results from day one?

Unfortunately no - the Orga have their own [remote] server this year, but it is seemingly impossible to access over the wifi network...

In the past there has always been a printed list of daily results on a board in the hotel lobby each evening - particularly as this also relates to the individual start times/order for the following day - but this morning the printed list was only available once the riders reached the DSS!

I'm sure someone will raise this issue at the briefing this evening, and hopefully the Orga will resort to paper while they try and fix their server... at the moment there are no results info on the Tuareg-Rallye.com website either.

Jx

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Old 03-10-2013, 09:50 AM   #219
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Brilliant stuff, Jenny. Keep it coming. You can sleep after the rally.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:58 AM   #220
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Just heard dreadful news from my colleague Hagenblad, apparently there has been a fatality today of one of the top riders whose name I won't mention just yet. Can we get a confirmation of this?? I hate to hear of these things!!
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:59 AM   #221
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David P. View Post
Just heard dreadful news from my colleague Hagenblad, apparently there has been a fatality today of one of the top riders whose name I won't mention just yet. Can we get a confirmation of this?? I hate to hear of these things!!
Same rumor has hit me too... no idea who was involved..
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:01 AM   #222
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David P. View Post
Just heard dreadful news from my colleague Hagenblad, apparently there has been a fatality today of one of the top riders whose name I won't mention just yet. Can we get a confirmation of this?? I hate to hear of these things!!
Hope it's a mistake, miscommunication.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:07 AM   #223
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Nothing on their homepage yet..... Fingers crossed....
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:12 AM   #224
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inmate Giada confirmed she saw an ambulance around CP3 and they told the guy was not fine but at the moment she doesn't know who he is and what happened. Fingers crossed me too
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:25 AM   #225
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Holy shit. Fingers crossed this racer is ok.
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