Now the going gets tough. A crazy long and dangerous stage. More than 550 kilometers of special… And super fast and dangerous in many sections.
The roadbook was very unpredictable, some warnings for dangers – and then NO warnings for even worse dangers. Also some navigation notes (tulips) were totally off, could be up to a kilometer off distance. This made navigation VERY difficult, and all riders ended up making big mistakes, riding around trying to find the route, meeting each other backtracking. Even top riders lost some 20-30 minutes when missing turnoffs!!
Most dangerous were the fast straights along barbed fences doing some 160 kms/hour. Hitting a rock, rut or a kangaroo at this speed is not good. So I decided it was not worth pushing.
But I had a plunge today, when letting #75 on a big KTM 950 (super fast bike! 178 kms/hour on the straight) overtake me. In his dust I hit a deep rut (not marked in the roadbook) and tumbled over. Lucky I wasn’t going fast, so nothing damaged.
Last section my hands were really tired and sore, and forced me to slow down. Came in 22nd – safe and sound!
Article on marathonrally.com:
Annie Seel from Sweden had a bad experience with a roadbook-mistake in the second part. “It was only fast, very fast. Especially in the second stage, for this speed the roadbook wasn’t detailed enough. Big stones were not marked, deep creeks not signed. You came with 160 km/h through a curve, hit a unmarked stone in the middle of the road, jump and… uff, I had luck! The Rally is great, especially the organisation. But in my mind they should make the stages more different, not only fast – like last year. That was great!”