Dakar Stage 5 – Simon Pavey Blog

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Simon Pavey finished a strong 67th on stage five of the 2011 Dakar to escalate himself up the leader board to 79th overall despite having to overcome fuelling issues at the start of the day.

He said: “I spent a good few hours last night trying to come up with a solution. It’s a strange problem because it’s the same Safari tank setup we used on my old Dakar bike and they are fantastic. When I rocked up at the fuel station, one of my little fixes gave out and chucked fuel all over the floor. It took me a while to fix and I missed my start time by 25 minutes.”

“As a result I had to start the stage almost dead last which was a shame because I’d overtaken a lot of riders on the previouys stage. We also had to deal with 100KM of fesh fesh sand that makes overtaking hard and dangerous. “It’s the worst riding we have to do on Dakar. Its not difficult, it’s just horrible. You can’t see anything, the dust hangs in the air like talcum powder and it stupidly dangerous. It’s like riding baked hard ruts in two-foot high grass. People were having huge crashes left, right and centre.

David Casteu and I ended up riding together for a short while and he went on a different line to me through one bit, I slowed down just a little and he had a massive
tank slapper right next to me.”

 “The last 100 km were good and I managed to pass about 20 riders. I really made some time and will start tomorrows stage a little bit higher again. It’s nice to be in early today with no problems, I can finally sleep tonight too!

I hope tomorrows stage is more fun than today’s, It’s the first stage I haven’t enjoyed so far this year. The final dune made up for all that though, it’s insane! It’s 2.5km from the top to the bottom and I clocked 130km/h down there and if we allowed to go again you’d do it wide open, it was awesome!”

“I am really looking forward to the challenge tomorrow is going to bring. Stages that are shorter on Dakar are generally really difficult. The special is about 400km tomorrow but they have given us almost 36 hours allowance to do it. I think it’s going to be surprisingly hard and could be the end for a lot of people”


Michael Guy

By Michael Guy

Sports Editor, former 250-racer and adventure rider