Dakar Daily by Scott Cox Thursday January 18 After an "easy" day on yesterday's somewhat leisurely liason stage 11 (yeah, as if there's anything that even comes close to "leisure" in the Dakar...), Chris Blais wicked it up with a wild ride, some...
Dakar Daily by Scott Cox
Thursday January 18
After an "easy" day on yesterday's somewhat leisurely liason stage 11 (yeah, as if there's anything that even comes close to "leisure" in the Dakar...), Chris Blais wicked it up with a wild ride, some mechanical voodoo, and good old fashioned village to village blasting.
BRAKE CHECK FOR BLAIS
"At about 30 clicks (kilometers) in today, the front caliper mounting bolts on Chris' bike backed out and he crashed," said Doc Edwards. "The brake locked on and tossed him into a heap. The good news is that Chris wasn't hurt, but he's pretty sore right now."
While the problem wasnt' fully diagnosed prior to our call today, the good doctor could only speculate why Chris has again (it happened last year, too) suffered from front brake demons nor what the root causes could have been. Like the seasoned pro that he is, Blais quickly got out a pair of cutting pliers and removed the cables and lines thus completely removing the front brake function from his Red Bull KTM 660 Rallye.
Red Bull KTM 660 Rallye "A great thing about Chris is his ability to identify problems immediately and deal with them," Said Edwards. "He's probably the best mechanic out here amongst the elite riders and despite him getting slammed over the bars and onto the ground at 90kph (read: over 50mph) he was still able to solve a potentially ride ending problem and continue to race. Chris didn't wig out and lose his composure, he just kept on going without a front brake."
Fast thinking and faster action are a Blais trademark but this should have been a day to attack the front runners and eat into the 25+ minute deficit between he and 3rd place running David Casteu. However, a loss of over 10-minutes resulted from the impromptu brake job. Unfazed, Blais is still very much in the hunt for a podium appearance in Senegal this weekend.
TID BITS THRU TWELVE...
Props to Steve LaRosa for his cameo appearance on VERSUS TV - It's cool for him, and for Dakar hopefuls everywhre, that the VERSUS crew wired him up yesterday to give us all a rookies view from the saddle. A big shout out to Casey McCoy who, according to Chris Blais, is "Doing good things. Making the show and riding his own race." And despite suffering from what Doc Edwards tells us is a "serious case of monkey butt"
the Mammoth Lakes ski resort manager is kicking some butts! A warm embrace to Malcolm + Joyce Smith for their planned fund raiser to benefit the family of fallen Dakar rider Elmer Symons #107. The Tuesday, January 23 event will take place at Malcolm Smith Motorsports in Riverside, CA.
-credit: scott cox