Monday in Saudi Arabia became another difficult challenge for the participants. Athletes not only had to overcome a speed stage of more than 438 kilometers and almost 300 km of liaison, but also to carefully protect their vehicles. The mechanics will only have two hours to repair it before tomorrow’s start, so any major damage could have ended badly. CFMOTO Thunder Racing Team rider Antanas Kanopkinas reached the finish line successfully, but experienced much on the track.
“It was a very difficult day. For the first hundred kilometers, I drove like I was carrying some egg basket – I was trying to protect the quad over the stony sections. After that it all went well, I had to dig a little sand in the dunes, but I lost maybe five minutes. Also lost the track a few times, but all the missteps cost a minute each, so basically everything went according to plan today. The most important thing is that we came back with light”, A. Kanopkinas said in the service park and mentioned that he will go to the judges to ask why a two-hour penalty was added to his results.
The athlete did not hide that there were dangerous moments on the track – there were dangerous hollows that were not marked in the road book. According to the preliminary results, A. Kanopkinas finished eighth in the quad classification today and laughed that the seven hours spent on the stage are becoming a casual routine.
Tonight, athletes will sleep in tents provided by the organizers, separate from their teams. It is part of the first marathon stage of this Dakar Rally. Tomorrow, the participants will have to cover a total of 631 kilometers, of which 299 will be the speed stage. Organizers say there will be fast sections, but also challenging navigational challenges.