Stage Eight –Salta to Tucuman – 738Km – Modified
Stage Eight is cut short but still provides a tough challenge for all the riders as they reach the half way point.
Once again Simon sealed another good result on a day that saw the sports elite drop down the days standings due to serious navigation errors and a collection of new riders make their mark.
The first half of the technical stage was cancelled due to the torrential rains in the region but despite that the second half of the stage turned out to be the most technical so far. On a stage that normally would have suited Simons riding style, a few small elements went against him.
The fuse to his road book blew at the start of the special stage, forcing the Australian to manually work his road book. On top of this Simon chose to use a dessert goggle, but this proved to be a mistake as his goggles fogged up with the heat and slow riding conditions.
However Simon still managed to hold a good speed in the stage, managing to notice the navigation error that cost many of the lead riders and claim another improvement in position.
Simon Pavey – “We are lucky they cut the stage short today. It turned out to be a really long and physical stage. We rode for about eleven hours today; if the special had been the full length it would have been horrendous.
I didn’t ride well at all either, I was tight on the bike and it’s silly, but I picked the wrong goggle. I was riding with a dessert, they’re really good for the road and faster riding but it caused my goggles to fog and it’s hard to ride when you can’t see.
The stage was really technical too, the type of stage I normally love. After the first few km’s the track changed into sand whoops and river beds. Some of the rivers were really high. I got a struck of luck with the navigation, I had to do my road book manually yesterday and because I had to ride a little slower I noticed immediately when I missed the turn that most of leaders got lost on.
Overall, my position was really good, considering I had a bad day, to get a better result again was lucky, but sometimes in Dakar you need luck. I think the hardest part of the race is yet to come too. After the rest day we have some really long, hard days ahead.”
Tomorrow is the rest day, after which the race will head toward Cordoba in a gruelling 800km stage.
Simon Pavey – 50th – 02:34:27
Simon Pavey – 68th – 25:39:13