Stage seven of the 2013 Dakar proved to be another strong day for the Welsh, Irish, English, British and adopted Australian riders with all six men well placed as the race enters its half way point.
Tim Forman was once again the man at the top albeit less than a minute ahead of FrontrowGB team-mate Stan Watt. The two men finished in 33rd and 36th places respectively, split by four time Dakar winner Cyril Despres who suffered gearbox issue on the 218km timed special.
The result moves Watt into the top 30 for the first time which realises his target of being in the top 30 by the rest day on day nine. Forman has also moved up the leader board to 33rd.
James West had his best day of the 2013 Dakar with the fast open stages suiting his style of riding. The Sherco supported rider claimed 39th on stage which put him up to 66th overall.
Simon Pavey once again showed his pedigree to claim behind 58th position despite telling MCN yesterday that he wasn’t looking forward to the stage. The Delta Kunstaffe Husqvarna rider prefers more technical stages than the high speed stage seven, but showed he is a quality rider whatever the terrain. Pavey now sits 68th overall.
Lyndon Poskitt was unable to break into the top fifty again and end of the day in 71st leaving him 54th overall.
Craig Bounds’ heroics continued with the injured Welshman battling through the pain barrier to finish 101st on the stage leaving him 95th overall.
MCN was unable to speak to any of the riders due to the fact that stage seven is a marathon stage, meaning that at the end of the final liaison the riders will go to a separate bivouac where they will be on their own without any of their team or mechanics. The riders will be fed and given a blanket and a hat which is unlikely to be enough to keep them warm as they will be at 2700m above sea level.
The ruling is that you can take whatever you want to the bivouac, but you have to carry it yourself.
Tomorrow’s stage eight features a 19km liaison followed by a monster 492km special and a further 228km liaison.