Really tricky and twisty today. I started as 39th, and thought I’d pace myself to get into rythm. First party was sandy and lots of twists and turns in the bushy terrain – HARD WORK. The bike was heavy to turn as it was filled with fuel. I found a good rythm at some points and then suddenly just lost it, as focusing on navigation. It takes a day to get into navigating also. Cought the rider in front, a japanese, but could not pass in the dust. So I was chasing him for more than 150 kms before I dared to make a move just before the service and refuel. I was so steamed up because I was held back for so long..
After passing him I immediately paced up and found a good rythm – my rythm. Navigation was tricky among the twist and turns around trees and bushes. Some bad ruts to watch out for. Suddenly I met some riders coming back, they couldn’t find the way. I was spot in my roadbook, and got the right track. Later on I also made a wrong turn, but only lost a minute. The trails were so narrow the trees and bushes slapped my helmet and arms really hard. I had to make sure not to come too close or they brush me off the bike! Last bit was very grassy and winding hard to see track. Many sudden turns around trees were it was difficult to see were the track was, and also hidden ants piles. One of the ants piles threw me right up in the air when I hit it…
All in all I had a good day. No big mistakes. But my thumb hurt and felt very bad holding on to the handlebar when wrestling the bike around sandy and slippery corners,
Made up 14 places to 25th, and I am VERY HAPPY for that!!
My team mates:
Ze Helio, 8th
Garry Connell, 32nd