Second day: Crashed into action After an easy opening the first stage yesterday the special became much harder. The weather created a very slippery surface, making it a tricky day for the competitors. The day started early in the morning with...
Second day: Crashed into action
After an easy opening the first stage yesterday the special became much harder. The weather created a very slippery surface, making it a tricky day for the competitors. The day started early in the morning with a fresh shower. It turned into heavy rain realy quickly, causing Patrick Trahan to return to bivouac to collect a raincoat. Only halfway through the special the raining had stopped. A lot of riders crashed and the bikes had quite some damage. No difference here between the professional riders and amateurs, nobody could escape.
Team Honda Europe has two riders who crashed hard. Luckily both are in good shape, but the bikes went down hard. Gerben Vruggink and Patrick Trahan crashed, creating a bit of work for the service crew. Teammanager Henk Hellegers is satisfied with the results. "Our riders went up in the ranking yesterday. Mirjam and Christopher had a good day. Tonnie and Alois kept their pace and made sure not to take too many risks. Only Gerben and Patrick had some problems. We will fix the bikes to make sure they are ready for the sand tomorrow!"
Christopher Jarmuz (38 in the stage, 36 overall) "I fell near a rivercrossing, there was a concrete and very slippery slope. It was right after the fuelstop, as I wanted to stay ahead of Dabrowski whom I had just overtaken. Because of the crash the plastics of the bike were damages, but nothing serious."
Mirjam Pol (49 in the stage, 47 overall) had a good day, as this is not her favorite kind of track. She made sure Annie Seel was always close, and we expect to see some changes in the ranking for the ladies class in the next days.
Gerben Vruggink (105 in the stage, 87 overall) fought the weather conditions. "the first 50 kilometers I had zero sight due to the fog. My glasses were wet on both sides, I even tried without them. Unfortunately the speed went down with the visibility, but luckily not just for me. At 100km in the special I was overtaken by Patrick Trahan. A few minutes later he was lying in a ditch next to the tracks, and I didn't pay enough attention to my own riding. My rearwheel lost grip and I went down. The bike ended up in a ditch and it was damaged. Handlebars, rear end, tank - all bent or broken. Then I decided to ride a little slower. If you lose attention for only a second you are out of the race.
Patrick Trahan (93 in the stage, 91 overall) was luckily today after surviving a high-sider with 120 kmh. His instruments sustained the biggest blow, and were torn to pieces. Patrick himself only had some bruises on his arm and hip. "the first pat of the race was fantastic, I overtook at least 15 other riders. On a straight track I opened the throttle. But it was really slippery and my rear wheel lost grip. Instead of opening the throttle further I closed it, and there I went flying. After some emergency repairs I could continue the race. Without my glasses and most of the instruments I could finish the stage. It is a fair warning to calm down if I want to reach Dakar. That is my goal.
Alois Ressing (121 in the stage, 121 overall) and Tonnie Krabbenborg (124 in the stage, 122 overall) decided not to take any risks. They did not crash, even though it was a close call. Riding together they took turns in navigating the special. "We saw Frans Verhoeven with his broken bike, such a pity!", says Alois. Tonnie is happy to have to quads in between the bikes. "We were pleased the temperature went up in the second part of the day, as we still needed to dry up from the rainshowers this morning."
-source: team honda eu