290km special stage, 10 km liason
38th position overall

My start time this morning was 8.50am. I had been given an 8 minute penalty for some reason, so I was now 8 minutes behind Pablo.

Thankfully, our direction this morning was opposite to the dunes, and everyone was relieved to be on flat ground for the start! The last rider from yesterday’s final dune section was not back until 1am this morning. It was a huge effort to get him out of the dunes as they are not accessible by 4WD vehicles.

After 5 or 6km this morning we were into deep “fesh fesh” on big clay pans. It’s fine dust or sand that looks like solid ground, but behaves like soft mud. The moment you back of on the throttle in the stuff you sink. It’s very dangerous, and we had a good 8-9km of it.

I managed to make up a bit of time and a few places through the fesh fesh and caught up to Pablo.

We then had open plains full of rocks and erosion ruts that you could not see. Some small dunes briefly, and then fast open sections with no tracks and very difficult navigation.

When we had finished the 1st stage all riders were directed back to the Bivouac as the second stage for the day had been cancelled. But the ride back was extremely hot again.

Pablo and I missed 2 waypoints today and received a 30 minute time penalty each, but we had a great day with me finishing in 33rd position overall and Pablo in 37th.