The first half of the marathon stage was a tough one, Pascal de Baar thought. "They had predicted that," he knew. "They often say that and then it's not so bad, but this time they were right." Despite getting stuck a few times in the dunes, the Riwald driver finished in third place of the day, 18 minutes behind stage winner Martin van den Brink.
The 275-kilometer stage featured varied terrain, with dunes and some fast trails. "As the day went on, the sand got looser and looser," De Baar noted. "It seemed like my diff wasn't working, but it probably wasn't."
Partly because of the variation, it was difficult to find a rhythm, De Baar found. "For me it didn't work well in any case. We also got stuck for a while about four times as a result. With the help of the air cushions we could get out again quickly, so that wasn't a big problem. And the rest had problems as well." Class leader Janus van Kasteren, for example, who ended up in a dune pan. "But I didn't see that one," De Baar said.
In the marathon bivouac, not far from the border with Oman and Abu Dhabi in the middle of nowhere, the assistance trucks and mechanics are not allowed, so the competitors in the race have to do everything themselves. "We will check everything carefully, but I don't expect to encounter any problems that we can't solve ourselves," De Baar said. The twelfth stage takes the competitors back to Shaybah. De Baar will start the race day as the third truck.
Automatic translation from the original Dutch version
Source Riwald Dakar Team