Rally dos Sertoes
After riding 1000km in two days I’m sat here just in my pants because it’s 38 degrees in the shade. I’m sweating like hell but I’m pleased to say I’m now in the lead of the Rally dos Sertoes.
This race is really starting to feel like a rally after all the distance we covered in the past two days. Things were made challenging because these last two days were one big marathon stage. This meant that last night we were unable to work on the bike. Luckily my KTM is a very solid and reliable machine so we were able to pass many kilometres without any serious problems.
I took the decision to give it everything I had yesterday (Tuesday, Aug. 16). Not far into the stage I managed to pass the group of guys who were in front of me. When we arrived to the camp in the middle of nowhere I was pleased to find out that I had not only won the stage but also taken the overall lead.
We headed back out into the barren, nowhere land today and I got a problem with my navigation device after hitting a rock. I have an alternative navigation system but it’s in a lower position on the bike which makes it harder to see. When I reached the refuelling point halfway through the stage I decided to have a look at fixing the problem.
It was a hectic 15 minutes because I also had to make sure I had some food and attach the second roadbook of the day to my handlebars. Carrying out the repairs cost me some time but it also helped me to arrive at the finish line safely. If experience has taught me anything it’s the importance of making sure you finish the day safely. We have already covered a lot of distance here in Brazil and I’m happy to say I haven’t even broken a fingernail!
There was a big push from Felipe Zanol today and after racing for over five hours out there I eventually beat him on today’s stage by only a tenth of a second.
Tonight my mechanic gets a chance to look at the bike so hopefully we can fix the problem with the navigation system. Also we crossed about 12 rivers out there so there’s plenty of cleaning to be done. We wanted a tough race to help us prepare for the Dakar and so far Brazil has not disappointed.
- Cyril Despres