On a day when almost 40 riders dropped out of the event, Joaquim Rodrigues climbed two places to break into the top twenty. It was a very difficult day nevertheless for the Portuguese rider. “I got lost at kilometre 30. The first part of the stage was all navigation and with the dust, I got lost and couldn’t find my way out. There was a waypoint in there and it was really hard to find it with all that dust around. A lot of guys passed me, but I managed to get to the end of the stage in good time.”
Today the Dakar went over the Andes and competitors had a new challenge. “Altitude was new for me. I felt a little dizzy but I am glad that I was able to hold my concentration at that altitude,” said J-Rod.
C S Santosh, meanwhile, was just happy to be back in the bivouac. “Everything that could go wrong went wrong” said an exhausted and frustrated CS who dropped 19 places to finish 56th overall. But he also missed a way point on the second part of the stage and has been slapped with a one hour penalty dropping him down to 87th. It’s going to be an uphill battle here on to make places as he will have to take a lot of risks to overtake the slower riders who will be starting ahead of him tomorrow.