Gerard de Rooy wasnâ€™t happy at all on the forced cancellation of the specials. From the cabin of truck nr. 417 he said: â€œI do understand the Organizationâ€™s decision. If those gangs are really dangerous, itâ€™s no use driving alone. However,...
Gerard de Rooy wasn’t happy at all on the forced cancellation of the specials. From the cabin of truck nr. 417 he said: “I do understand the Organization’s decision. If those gangs are really dangerous, it’s no use driving alone. However, it’s still irritating to lose your rhythm. I had no problems with the truck and spirits are high in the cabin. The mechanics of the assistance truck whistle while doing their job. In such a case you just want to do one thing: go on. Especially; that’s where we came for and now 2 good stages are being cancelled.”
Not everyone agreed with De Rooy. Peterhansel, the leader in the overall car standing, thinks it’s fine. May be because he can’t loose command now.
Despres and Meoni, in the bike standing, also preferred to do the specials. The bikes will go to Bobo-Dioulasso by plane.
Most of the remaining amateurs certainly don’t agree with De Rooy; especially the motorcyclists who are literally dead on their feet and saved by the bell.
If you look at the overall truck standing, it’s pretty obvious that young De Rooy wants to continue. In the normal course of events, Tchaguine can’t be stopped anymore and will gain his 4th victory. He has a 58 minutes advantage on number 2, Brazilian’s De Azevedo. De Rooy follows at 55 minutes and he feels Kabirov’s breathing down his neck. He has an advantage of 2.47 minutes on the Russian.
“Last year, during the last few days, it was the same as this year. The Russians are playing a game and I’m in the middle of it. Tchaguine steps a bit back and makes place for Kabirov to have him on the stand too,” knows de Rooy. “No, it’s not good doing nothing 3 days long. Already two days after the rest day we’ll have a tough day from Bamako to Ayoûn El Atroûs, a special of 478 kilometers with wadies full of water, which means a lot of navigation as you might be forced to take another way. This is followed by a track of huge sand dunes and after that nothing but the so-called camel grass. Each competitor hates these kinds of grounds. Once again, it would have been better if we went on. The team is fit and the truck is fine. So a typical case of “a pity”,” de Rooy concludes.
In the meantime his father is on his way from Atar to Nouakchott. From there he will go to DAKAR. Jan de Rooy is very clear: “finish the job until Dakar and that’s it. We will wait for Gerard in Dakar.”
It’s not clear yet whether De Rooy will decide to go part of the way to see his son in action. Anyhow Hugo Duisters states that the truck will arrive in Dakar without problems. Besides, to be on the safe side, Yvo Geusens’ truck accompanies them. It’s also unknown what this truck will do: stay in Dakar or follow the rally.