Profi Moto class: 310 kms – 95% hard piste, 5% sand piste.
“A real feeling of adventure…”
Riding together as a team for the second day, Paul & Gabriel keep to their strategy of riding a steady rally in an effort to finish with no penalty points – despite the temptation to try and increase their speed, encouraged by their unexpected result the day before.
Catching up with them both that evening as they prepared their road-books for the following day, they were equally enthusiastic about what lay ahead.
“The route today was awesome – very different to yesterday, and the real feeling of adventure – of traveling across country from one place to another” Paul begins. “The terrain was stunning – we climbed into the mountains, then descended into valleys, crossed wide open plains – it was really varied.”
Paul also revealed they were becoming increasingly confident with the road-book style navigation: “It was a great feeling to be following the road-book for hour after hour, and finding that actually every instruction was exactly where you were expecting it! – it was very reassuring [we were doing things right]” he adds.
“There was one particular section that was pretty confusing” he admits “But it was a relief to see all these tyre tracks on the ground in different directions, that we weren’t the only ones to get lost!” he says with a grin.
Gabriel shared his delight at the variety of the terrain, and at the same time, their relief that the going wasn’t as overly challenging as they had been expecting: “I think we were pleasantly surprised – there were no real nasty surprises on the route” he begins “Although that might have been because we weren’t really going fast enough to get into trouble!” he adds with a smile.
Paul agreed: “It was really nice to not be ploughing through dune after dune today – the faster rocky tracks and the dry lakes were much more enjoyable. It was also far kinder on the bikes too!”
Gabriel admits that after such an encouraging first day, he feels a temptation to perhaps go a little faster where possible and try and improve their overall standings: “I think it’s very easy to get wrapped up in the competitive side of things” he says “Although it’s still very early days, I think no matter where you are in the rankings, you are always looking ahead and thinking how nice it would be to move up a few positions.”
“The highlight of the day for me was when we’d been following a group of riders who had initially overtaken us, only to see them take a wrong turn, while we continued at our pace and knowing exactly where we were [supposed to be], and took the correct turning” says Gabriel, illustrating perfectly why their considered approach is already paying dividends with another penalty-free day.
Stage result: day 2/7: 37th (4h06m)
Overall position: day 2/7: 31st