Dakar: KTM stage 8 report

New-age treachery mixes up the field of competitors GPS means navigating with the help of dozens of satellites in space. GPS points help the drivers to orientate and find their way through the desert. Some experts claim that GPS is a good means...

New-age treachery mixes up the field of competitors

GPS means navigating with the help of dozens of satellites in space. GPS points help the drivers to orientate and find their way through the desert. Some experts claim that GPS is a good means for the race. However, it does not substitute for looking into the road book or even at the landscape. That is what today's stage was vehemently trying to tells us.

"Fucking day," exclaims Alfie Cox in the paddocks. He was mad about himself. "I followed Fabrizio and that turned out to be a huge mistake." Because Meoni rode in a wrong direction, just as Cyril Despres and several of the other riders. The crucial point was the first GPS point. It was given to the competitors by the officials of the rally. It was meant to help orientating and was about 120 kilometers behind the start. The riders crossed a Wadi after 40 km. The ones riding directly towards the GPS point missed the right exit to leave the dryed-up river bed. The ones looking into their road books and taking in their surroundings had it easier to find the right way. Surly, A.S.O. must allow to be questioned about such a misleading GPS point. But the stage is definitely over.

Today's winner Nani Roma happily explained tonight, "It was good that I checked into my road book. I looked around and calmly tried to navigate." For the longest time, he could take advantage of Richard Sainct's knowledge. Roma overtook him shortly beyond the start. With the Frenchman and his fellow countryman Jean Brucy they rode on together. Richard Sainct, too, had his problems today, "Navigation was extremely difficult. I turned around twice on a track because I wasn't sure that I had found the right route." A sandstorm made orientation even more difficult. "I constantly had dust in my eyes," tells Sainct. His summary about the day: "The stage was shorter than yesterday, but it was definitely tougher, too. But I did okay. If navigating stays at this level I assume I have a good chance in the race."

Nani Roma claims the leadership in the overalls again. He leads ahead of Sainct just before Jean Brucy, who was able to clinch a 2nd place today. Modestly he answers, "It was not that difficult for me today. I just followed Richard."

Dakar-beginner Scott Harden rode a remarkable race today. Trusting his good old compass helped him to rank among the top riders. "I arrived in 6th position and was simply surprised about such a good placement. When I wasn't sure about the way I took out my compass and road book. I trusted them more than my GPS. That's what helped me to get through fine."

The last two stages thoroughly mixed up the field of riders twice. Tomorrow this could happen for a third time. Stage 9, the second part of a marathon-stage, is the second longest special in this years Dakar rally. It is 739 km long. The A.S.O. also claims it to be the toughest stage. What do the riders await? The legendary route drives past Tichit, the famous elephant rock. It also crosses the Enji-pass which had stopped almost all competitors due to a sandstorm in 1985. We will wait in suspense what this special offers the riders and their fans at home tomorrow.

-ktm-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Jean Brucy , Cyril Despres , Alfie Cox , Richard Sainct , Nani Roma , Scott Harden