The arrival of the Dakar to Argentina has not been simple at all, and today again, heavy rains created issues in the race.
Yesterday night, the organizer announced that the first part of the special stage would be cancelled. All competitors started then for a small selective section of 183 km, but at the moment only four cars crossed a “Rio” (dry river), a wave followed by another wave didn’t allowed competitors to continue. The water rose over one meter.
Lucio Alvarez and Ronnie Graue arrived to the bivouac totally exhausted around 10 p.m. The high temperatures and humidity were unbearable. “The first part was fast and stony”, tells Ronnie. “Then, we continued through a pampa with heavy sand, very heavy sand. Later on, we got out of this hell to enter a Rio… full of mud!” “All this part, the pampa and Rio, continues Lucio, we were fighting with Nani Roma, and it was great! It was epic! The exit of the “Rio” was not easy to find, we had to cut and we found ourselves right in front of Nani.
On the way down, we got stuck in the Rio…
Then, there was another Rio, but at the moment we arrived, the water was rising and we could clearly see three waves… It was impossible to cross. We were there with Nasser, Giniel de Villiers, some quads and bikes. A helicopter came and signed to us that the race had been neutralized.
We waited a bit, the river calmed down, and then, we were able to cross and continue until the finish line of the special stage. What a day! I´m soaring and my clothes are al sweaty like if I fell in the water”
To assign a time to each crew, the race direction decided to take the time of the last team to cross the river, Stephane Peterhansel, which finished 4th behind Chicherit/Garcin, Terranova/Fuiza and Gordon/Walch. All competitors that did not finished the stage at the time of the Jury´s decision will keep the same time of the last crew that traversed that location: 02.07:21. It will be interesting to see how the organization will plan the start for cars for the 9th special on Monday.
Tomorrow is the rest day… except for the mechanics that will work to put all cars in the best shape!