Brits Lyndon Poskitt and Max Hunt survived what was without question the toughest stage of Dakar 2018 to date. Arriving in to the bivouac, both men looked exhausted and they were in good company with factory riders including Matthias Walkner all looking completely destroyed.
The reason for the severity of the stage was a combination of mud, soft sand, camel grass and the extreme 4000m altitude – not forgetting it was also a 425km timed special and a 302km liaison making it a 727km day.
Poskitt finished the stage in 41st place and now sits 41st overall and second in the Malle Moto class behind Frenchman Olivier Pain.
Speaking to MCN at the end of the stage in Uyuni, Lyndon said: “That is the hardest stage I have ever ridden. At the half way point I honestly thought I was done. Imagine the softest, roughest sand that you’ve ever ridden and then add loads of camel grass – well it was that for 100km straight. Brutal, absolutely brutal.
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“I also had a massive crash when a car came past me. It was kicking up loads of dust so I moved to one side but then the wind changed and the dust came across and I couldn’t see a thing. I braked, but when I could see ahead again there was a turn with a drainage ditch around the outside and I ended up in that!”
It was an equally eventful day for Hunt who had to battle technical issues and was left hobbling after a high speed crash.
He said: “Thank f**k that’s over! It all started when I was riding along on the liaison my front mudguard just came off and exploded and since then I’ve spent so much time faffing around trying to keep the front brake line and Ico (trip meter) from getting caught in the wheel or on the disk. One of the Ico cables was severed, but you have two.
“The stage itself was soft sand that just went on and on. It was the kind of soft sand that I struggle on. It was 100% the hardest stage so far this year. It didn’t help that I had a massive crash. There were lots of water splashes and I’d been riding around a lot of them, but I decided go straight through this one, but there was an edge at the end of it and I hit it at about 120kph and it popped the back up and I went straight over the bars. I caught my hip on the handlebars on the way over and it made it hard after that. That was a savage stage.”
Hunt ended the stage 50th fastest, which leaves him 47th overall.
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