Stage Ten – Cordoba to La Rioja
Another long day and hot day for the riders features another day of varied and beautiful terrain as the race moves toward the infamous Fiambala stage.
Stage Ten of the 2013 Dakar was typical of Argentinean Dakar racing. A mixture of fast, twisty forest tracks, hilltop farm tracks, slippery river crossings and substantial dust made for an exciting days racing, but also meant position gains were hard to make.
Simon had a good day, moving up order again. With the riding suiting the Australian more than previous days, the only thing holding him back was the deep dust that made it hard for the riders to pass.
Despite riding well and pushing much harder than previously, Simon was slightly disappointed with the final result of 58th as he felt his level of riding on the stage outweighed the final result due to the difficulty in negotiating the dust.
Simon Pavey – “Today I had a really good day. The stage was varied and a little twister than yesterday. It suited me better and I was riding really well. I was pushing on a lot but when you caught the next dust cloud it was difficult to pass. A few times it took me 30km or so just get a break where it was safe to pass.
The terrain on the stage was great too. We started out in the forest, on sweeping firebreaks, but the grip was much better than yesterday. Over the stage we had some incredible tracks, some of it almost single track riding, it was awesome! It’s a shame it was so dusty. You can see from the general standings that making up time on each other was really difficult. You only need to look at the leaders to see that most of them caught a dust cloud and stayed there.
The amount of spectators in Argentina has been superb too. On the stage today you almost didn’t need to navigate. There were people on every corner in the strangest places. It’s incredible that they know where to watch. I also got to ride with the heli following me for a bit today, it’s always cool!
All round it was a good day and I still feel strong; it was nice to move up a few places again. The heat was high as well, about 39°C in the stage and 42°C at the bivouac. Tomorrow will probably be hotter again and will be a difficult stage but I’m looking forward to it.”
Tomorrow the race heads from La Roija to the infamous town of Fiambala, widely regarded as one of the rallies most daunting stages. The high heat, soft sands and difficult navigation presents a huge challenge to the riders, despite the shorter distance.
Simon Pavey – 58th – 05:31:34
Simon Pavey – 64th – 38:15:02