Wind hampers Dakar

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The wind was what caused the most problems in stage six of the Dakar – that and the kitchen tent burning down.

This was the first stage of the race held on soft sand and as if riding through dunes isn’t hard enough the strong winds throughout the day completely wiped out tyre tracks within a couple of minutes making navigation very hard.

But the conditions were ideal for two-times Rally winner Fabrizio Meoni, who excels in the soft sand. The Italian started the stage in sixth place and finished 1:38 ahead of second placed man Pal Anders Ullevalseter, putting him in third place in the overall standings.

Third place on the stage was taken by South African Alfie Cox but the fourth and fifth for Cycril Despres and Marc Coma left them with enough time in the bag to move in to first and second places overall.

Brit Mick Extance finished the tough stage in 51st place on his Honda XR650, which means he keeps his 39th place overall, while BMW F650GS rider Simon Pavey finished in 99th moving him up to 86th overall.

Pavey reached the Bivouac (the overnight stop) before his team but fortunately round the world rider Charlie Boorman was there to lend a hand. Boorman was in Africa to see if he wants to take part in the Dakar next year.

After a long ride through the desert a good meal is probably high on the list of priorities but the riders had to sit back an watch as the kitchen tent went up in flames when a rogue neon bulb exploded. No one was injured but alternative arrangements for dinner had to be made.

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MCN Staff

By MCN Staff