Day 10 -- Mankhan to Darvi
Hello all! Colin here today... I decided to give Ryan a breather, so I'm your guy today!
All I can say about today is WOW! When we first took a look at today's special stage, we figured it was going to be a very quick stage on mostly well defined main roads. We learned something about what goes into being a main road in Mongolia!
The stage was once again a rough one, but definitely faster than yesterday. We went through tight valleys and sandy river washes; there were big ditches and a lot of big river crossings.
We initially took a wrong turn (my fault) in the first few kilometers but we made up a ton of ground later on. There were some really fast sections during the mid-section of the stage. During that time we were able to stay with and then pass the second place Spanish team. Everything ran perfectly after our little detour.
It rained really hard and the water crossings got pretty treacherous. Towards the end of the stage the route got extremely fast, muddy and slippery. The real decision came when we had to decide where to run -- the better surface was always slightly off the main track. We were sliding all over, it really was fun!
When all was said and done, we wound up 3rd for the day and in 7th overall. Had we not taken our penalty, we would be all the way up in 5th place. As it is, we are 5 minutes out of 6th place; 10 minutes out of 5th place and 50 minutes out of 4th!
So Ryan and I feel like our strategy is still in place and working. As we saw yesterday when the overall leader dropped out, anything can happen on the TransSyberia Rally.
So we are off to sleep (if we can -- we're pretty excited!) and we will check in again tomorrow!
Colin & Ryan