Wed 04 April 2012

Stage 3: Empty Quarter Desert

At the end of stage 3, we passed the middle of the rally, Marc Coma took the overall lead in the bike category. Again the competitors were send deep into the high dunes of the Empty Quarter Desert. The world-class field of riders had to tackle some of the toughest terrain on the planet. For some competitors, taking part on this rally for the first time, this experience is a real eye-opener. The last 3 days already pushed 40% of the competitors over their physical and mental limits. Of course the mechanical stress on the bikes is huge with the high temperatures and almost only demanding sandtracks and dunes. The sand dunes are massive and the Empty Quarter Desert deserves it’s name.

This 22nd edition of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is one of the most demanding editions in years. It has very demanding special stages and it hasn’t rained for nearly one year. That, together with temperatures around 42/43 degrees Celsius, reinforces the rallies reputation as one of the world’s leading rallies.

Daniel is in 12th place overall and is knocking on the door to get within top ten. He gets used to his bike which has been set up now to his personal demands. The results shows we are in the right way. He is a relaxed guy with gifted riding talent, and looking strong for the last 2 days of the rally.

Juan Carlos currently is in 16th place  after leg 3 of his Desert Challenge debut. “The second stage was very different from day one, very physically demanding, but it went well and I had no crashes or problems,” he said, after arriving back at the bivouac. “The routes are harder than I expected. I prepared for sand, but I didn’t anticipate it to be quite like this. This has been the best experience for me, with top level organisation, and the top riders here.”

Jeremias was really fast today. Due to the problems with his rear wheel yesterday he started as 61th bike this morning. At CP1 he was in 7th position, CP2 and CP3 he passed in 8th position. Badly enough he had a high speed impact just before CP4. He could not jump a gap between two bumps and landed hard against the upcoming bump.The impact broke his ankle. He didn’t fell of his bike, but felt directly that it was wrong. When he came into the bivak he reported calm that he had broke his ankle. X rays being made later on in the Liwa hospital proved his feeling was right. He will stay with the team to support his South American friends.

Vadym is making his second appearance in the Desert Challenge and is doing really well. The dunes are challenging, but he manages to make it in the top 40 without any major falls sofar..

Tomorrows route, stage 4 (05-04-2012)

The organizers of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge warn for tomorrows stage. This leg will be the toughest until now and will firmly test each remaining competitor. With some competitors already exhausted from the first 3 stages, determination could now be one of the most important things. Besides that the competitors will need their navigation skills. The start at the bivouac will be at 06.00, the start of the special will be at 7:30.

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