The day after the night before
Koolen en Van den Goorbergh keep each other focused
With small eyes and a heavy head Jurgen van den Goorbergh left the bivouac in Jujuy for the 4th stage of the Dakar Rally. He arrived in the bivouac at 3 am and his departure time was schedule at 7.30 am. `I usually wake up before the alarm but now I am 45 minutes late. I completely did not hear the alarm, that tired I was. Thankfully I got everything done quickly and I was on rime for the start.'
Together with Kees Koolen, `already' in the bivouac around midnight, Van den Goorbergh rode the 500 kilometer long liason through the Andes. The GoKoBra drivers kept each other focused as the fatigue in combination with the high altitudes (more than 300 kms was above 4800 meters) and the at parts not so interesting scenery, sometimes played up. Drifting around the sharp corners helped.
`We turned it into a game. Kees had a bit of an advantage as he had been drifting through the route the day before because of his brakes not working. I was a bit dizzy when we got to the highest point: 4836 meters,' tells Van den Goorbergh. `But all went well and we did not experience any real issues today. On the stage things went smooth. I did not have the time to prepare my roadbook well but Kees had so I stayed behind him. Perfect. I find it harder to navigate from the buggy, on the bike it was easier.' Koolen enjoyed navigating. `A hobby. And sharing the work is no issue: let me do the navigating and Jurgen can do the technical things. There was one point where I did not understand what the roadbook meant but I heard other, more experienced navigators, complain about that too. And I made one mistake but was able to correct that quick and with no major delays.'
The fith stage is from Calama to Iquique. A liason of 36 kilometers is followed by a 423 kms long special. The trucks start - for the first time this rally - in between the cars, a big disadvantage for the GoKoBra men as these trucks leave big tracks.