Meoni back in front
The lead changed hands in the Dakar Rally yesterday, Sunday January 9, despite it being a rest day for the riders.
Fabrizio Meoni strayed from the corridor of GPS locations that mark out the race on Thursday’s stage, effectively letting him cut the corner and gain some time, so race organisers slapped him with a 10-minute penalty.
The penalty put fellow KTM rider Cyril Despres in the lead but after reviewing the situation and taking in to account the horrendous conditions on the stage, organisers concluded that Meoni wasn’t trying to cheat, so dropped his penalty to just 1 minute.
The extra nine minutes off his time no puts Meoni back in the lead, 1:31 ahead of Despres.
The weather was so bad on Thursday’s stage that many riders didn’t make it to the final checkpoint until the middle of the next day, having camped in the Dessert overnight.
British team riders Simon Pavey and Mick Extance both got stuck out in the cold and reports that have just arrived detail what an incredibly tough stage it was.
Click the links on the right to read the full reports from Pavey’s BMW team and Extance’s Rally Raid UK team.