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Old 03-01-2014, 10:09 AM   #3856
Dread Pendragon
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From Riaan van Niekerk's FB page:

"Found this pick on twitter. This was part of this years Dakar route. This was nearly at the top of the mountain at 4300m. And yes..., we were on rally bikes that weigh just under 200kg when it's filled up. Bike had no power up there and the altitude made me gasping for air. Think it would be a great idea to enter the roof this year on my rally bike to prep for dakar 2015."

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Old 03-01-2014, 02:48 PM   #3857
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Looks too steep in comparison with the video footage. Also looks like stuff we have near lima, but then who knows

Maybe that was the way to the canyongate
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Old 03-01-2014, 03:34 PM   #3858
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Originally Posted by Bluebull2007 View Post
Looks too steep in comparison with the video footage. Also looks like stuff we have near lima, but then who knows

Maybe that was the way to the canyongate
have you a link with the footage of this one? Was it the stage whre dozen of concurrents abandoned? Thanks!
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:14 PM   #3859
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Originally Posted by Bluebull2007 View Post
Looks too steep in comparison with the video footage. Also looks like stuff we have near lima, but then who knows

Maybe that was the way to the canyongate
But how about the quads, ..........................never hear much about them only patronelli crash...........how tough is was for them in these area.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:44 PM   #3860
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have you a link with the footage of this one? Was it the stage whre dozen of concurrents abandoned? Thanks!

Yes this is where Castera told competors it was too dangerous and some had to stay up there overnight.. that dude needs to ride a bike on the routes he creates for bikes only.... it was ridiculous how many riders got stuck up there and then the directions from ASO were unclear... then not allowing the ones that got back to the biv to restart... This year was truly what they wanted.. an odyssey (to knock half or more of the field)
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:00 AM   #3861
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have you a link with the footage of this one? Was it the stage whre dozen of concurrents abandoned? Thanks!
Here is a screen shot from the Eurosport footage of the top section of the climb.


Here is the Google earth view.


And here are the photos you can see from google earth of the mountain (of the bottom section).










Freaking steep.

Yes this is where Patronelli rolled his quad down the mountain to oblivion and 15 something bikes went down the wrong canyon. Those guys all made it up this but got lost/went off the route later (canyongate incident), and some guys were not allowed to go up, arriving too late at the checkpoint just before this hill (I think it was CP3).


Anyway all these pictures are quite unlike the one shown earlier, which is why I doubt it being representative of the climb. Having said that that, I doubt very much it was much easier than that shown in Riaan's photo, if anything it was harder because it is a sustained climb of over 1,200 vertical meters. It probably felt like Riaans photo!
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:05 AM   #3862
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No trucks on the Dakar climb!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebull2007 View Post
Here is a screen shot from the Eurosport footage of the top section of the climb.


Here is the Google earth view.


And here are the photos you can see from google earth of the mountain (of the bottom section).










Freaking steep.

Yes this is where Patronelli rolled his quad down the mountain to oblivion and 15 something bikes went down the wrong canyon. Those guys all made it up this but got lost/went off the route later (canyongate incident), and some guys were not allowed to go up, arriving too late at the checkpoint just before this hill (I think it was CP3).


Anyway all these pictures are quite unlike the one shown earlier, which is why I doubt it being representative of the climb. Having said that that, I doubt very much it was much easier than that shown in Riaan's photo, if anything it was harder because it is a sustained climb of over 1,200 vertical meters. It probably felt like Riaans photo!
Neil, I can assure you that is not the same climb on the photos with the trucks. Theres no way a truck could make it up. On the other side, or downside yes, there were trucks when I went by, but it was after the long steep, trial like climb. I know this because I was there for 30 minutes after 2 attempted and failed climbs. I really looked around to find an easier way and no luck. After regaining my breathe and energy, after a 15 minute rest , I made it up on the 3rd try. I think only 2 or 3 quads made it, the others took a different route indicted by organization. Same with bikes, only about 40 bikes made it up.
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Old 03-02-2014, 12:16 PM   #3863
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Neil, I can assure you that is not the same climb on the photos with the trucks. Theres no way a truck could make it up. On the other side, or downside yes, there were trucks when I went by, but it was after the long steep, trial like climb. I know this because I was there for 30 minutes after 2 attempted and failed climbs. I really looked around to find an easier way and no luck. After regaining my breathe and energy, after a 15 minute rest , I made it up on the 3rd try. I think only 2 or 3 quads made it, the others took a different route indicted by organization. Same with bikes, only about 40 bikes made it up.
Thanks for the clarification Chavo. So you are saying it really was like it in Riaan's photo? Perhaps it was the spur on the left hand side (on the Google earth pic).

Hectic!
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:23 AM   #3864
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My google foo qualifications are nowhere near the fourth dan black belt levels of yourself or HogWild... but I have browsed the odd topographical map in my time, and if I relate Riaan's photo to the 3-D google earth image that you posted (the one with the red line indicating the route), I come to same conclusion as youirself - that it is the short spur/ridge at the very top of the range - top left of the google earth 3-D image; about a third from the left.

That's a tough climb for a rally-moto or a quad for sure, but they did say all along that 2013 was going to be a lot tougher/technical than previous editions. This in reply perhaps to the claims made in some circles, that recent editions of DAKAR (2009 to 2012) had lost the "teeth" that the traditional Dakar (in Afrika) once posessed.

Well the delivered that in spades!

Regardless of the SS3/ canyongate issue (there is still a degree of "debate" as to just how official the "official" giving the alleged "wrong directions" was) and the considerations as to who completed the course, did not complete the course or were not permitted to attempt* to complete the course aside. The fact remains that David Castera - to my knowlege - has always acted with two prime considerations in mind ; those being 1). the riders/competitors saftey 2.) the sporting integrity of the rally.

But as far as questioning Castera's merit as far as determining what should or should not be included in a Dakar route - as far as a moto competitor is concerned - is a bit ill-informed. With multiple years as a factory team moto competitor and various Dakar and other major FIM rally podiums to his credit, I would say DC is more than qualified for the job.

* The ASO/Castera copped a fair bit of flack for not "allowing" a number of competitors to continue passed the "CP3" on SS3 into the area where "canyongate" occurred. The reasons given by the organisation being that "saftey" (no helicopter/sweep/recovery coverage at night AND below freezing conditions) were entirely valid. What would the public reaction be had a dozen riders perished after being premitted to continue at a point in time where it was obvious they would end up in the darkness, on a stage that is treacherous enough in daylight?

It seem the defence cited by a number of those who were denied the chance to complete the route was based on the good old DAKAR motto of "by any means possible" - where once upon a time (in africa) the rule of thumb - for those who were behind the eight ball and completed stages in the dark - that as long as you made the DSS (start control) of the following day's stage ("by any means possible") within one hour of the scheduled start for the first competitor - you were permitted to continue.

Dakar folklore is full of examples where "late runners" have come in from the desert after battling the element all night, only to have to refuel, stuff a dry croissant with rasberry jam and orange juice down their necks... and continue on the next leg.

While this "folklore" worked (to an extent) on the far more "linear" style dakar of nth Africa... in principle it does not translate so well onto the "special stage" type format of Sth America.

Those riders who were either forced or obliged by the orga to "abandon" the SS3 canongate stage were required to ride (around) the mountain range that the Special Stage crossed over... the lateness and distance involved meant that many were not able to make the bivouac/SS4 start till after all competitors departed. This in turn meant that they should "transport" on to the SS4 Bivouac.

The problem (from the sporting aspect) created that in this instance should a rider who had not completed SS3 and subsequently "bypassed" SS4 completely, be allowed to re-start on day 5. unfortunately the rules in dakar do not provide for such a thing (missed/incompleted stage) and under the circumstance it was also unfortunate that some compromise/penalty be agreed to for those that were caught in this situation, be allowed to continue.

I can understand completely the frustration and dissappointment for those who invested so much time, money and effort - who still on Day 5 were capable/prepared to continue, but were not permitted to do so.

That being said - it is not the first time this has occured. in the past large portions of the competitor field were DNF'd having not completed the course (sandstorms)...

Once on another occassion back in the early 90's there were only TWO finishers (autos) on a stage in the Sahara (JP Fontennay and Bruno Saby in the factory Mitsu's). The field was hit by an immense sandstorm, and the orga abandonned the stage at a CP/refuel - issuing instructions for an alternate route to the bivouac. Problem being that the lead group of Auto's had already passed that point. Most got bogged and or turned around back to the CP/refuel (including the factory Citröens)... but the two Mitsu's manage to forge on an complete the entire course... the only two.

Despite a protest and much debate, the two "finishers" were deemed not to have completed the course... merely they had subjected themselves to several hours of toture for nothing. Citröen went on to win, but Mitsubishi were morally - the only ones that completed the rally.

it's a funny ol game this Dakar puzzle.
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:01 AM   #3865
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I agree that David Castera is probably the most qualified to scout and determine these routes, but it's a bit odd that (judging by that photo from Riaan) that they've put in such a Erzberg-sadistic section in.
They have 10-15 days to increase the difficulty, why throw it all in a few kilometers?
With hindsight, this decision (or mistake?) caused most of the drama, controversy, logistics shuffling and major attrition this year.

One more thing that I've been wondering for years is do they ever use motorcycles while scouting? We always see them in those Toyotas, but how do they mark some peculiarities that are unique to moto road book? Especially this year with only moto stages.
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:21 AM   #3866
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One more thing that I've been wondering for years is do they ever use motorcycles while scouting? We always see them in those Toyotas, but how do they mark some peculiarities that are unique to moto road book? Especially this year with only moto stages.
I recall that there was something written in past, that DC has had access to a moto while scouting. One would assume this was the case this year.

Your comment about the "erzberg" nature of this section is interesting/valid one. As you say, in the "total" distance of the rally - these few kilometers are inconsequential... except for the fact that they were so technical, that they had (for several competitors) a critical hand in the outcome.

But cannot the same be said for (for example) a deep river crossing - like we have seen on several events in past? I mean, for sure riding through 700mm deep + water corssing has little (in principle) to do with a desert rally, on bikes designed for anything but deep water. But invariably we see Dakar riders who - having spent all day at full noise, chasing WP's across the desert landscape, who dive in - show inadequate caution - and spend an hour or so de-watering their bikes. You could argue that this has no place in a desert rally (or a mud slide, or a snow storm)... but maybe it is a part of the "Dakar" (anything can happen) mystique?

No matter how fast a rider, their result is only as good as their biggest misstake... Damage control/downtime reduction and keeping the on course delays to a minimum, played a big part in this years rally... both moto and auto.

Is this how it should continue... or should it become a series of sprint SS, where "the fastest" is the only consideration?
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:27 AM   #3867
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balkan Boy View Post
One more thing that I've been wondering for years is do they ever use motorcycles while scouting? We always see them in those Toyotas,...
Quote:
Originally Posted by troy safari carpente View Post
I recall that there was something written in past, that DC has had access to a moto while scouting.
One of the "Recon" episodes of two or three years ago shows Castera with a WR scouting a piece of track that would be motorcycle specific. Can't recall if they carried it in the Toyotas.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:32 AM   #3868
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One of the "Recon" episodes of two or three years ago shows Castera with a WR scouting a piece of track that would be motorcycle specific. Can't recall if they carried it in the Toyotas.
Yep, you're right! Standard WR450F with an Acerbis 25L tank bolted on the front. They hauled it in a big truck, not in the Hilux's...
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:55 AM   #3869
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Our F5 resident WR officianado...

If anyone has ever ridden a WR450F at anytime, anywhere in the desert, anywhere on the face of the globe in the last eight years... Schattat tony knows about it, can tell you what type of fuel tank it had, who manufactured the nav tower and what compass heading they were on at the time...

Hi Tony!
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:45 PM   #3870
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David Castera, directeur sportif du Dakar teste le parcours des motos.



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