01-12-2013, 09:44 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Perihelion of Mercury
Originally Posted by Johnny Campbell
Dakar Rally Race report- Johnny Campbell
Today's stage was a continuation of the marathon stage from yesterday.
We had no assistance from yesterday with the bike maintenance-
tires-nothing. I swapped my wheel with Helder as I had conserved it well
to give him the best advantage. We slept in a gymnasium on concrete
floors, snoring smelly riders, and plenty of late night farting from
the 200 dirty dirt bikers.
It rained like crazy. We had a long Liaison in the morning as they cancelled the first special due to
flash flooding. When I arrived at the start of the special Helder's
road book switch had stopped working. We robbed the one from my bike
for him which meant I would have to scroll my road book manually by
hand. This is a risky maneuver having to take your hand off the bar to
scroll. On top of that I was carrying a quart of oil, amongst other
emergency items, Pizzolito's tools, because he left them for Helder as
he had to start the stage, and was running Helder's half slick tire from the previous day.
On top of that I was starting off the line 74th next to a quad. Haha! Well I used every bit as an advantage today as it had rained and there was no dust. In fact it was pouring and lightning during the stage. I liked the odds so I just rode. The terrain was awesome fresh washes, flash flooding, lightning, off piste cross country , I was having a blast catching and passing riders 1 by 1. I arrived to a tricky navigation section and there were lines everywhere. I passed what I thought might be the trail but my mileage was a little off so I went to where my mileage said the trail should be but it was
incorrect so I turned back and found the right trail.
I also looked
ahead and took a slightly different line then everyone Elsa to the
next waypoint. This proved advantageous as I arrive to the finish
physically 20th but they told me I was 2nd on corrected time! No road
book switch, bald tire and all. I would have never thought I would be
on the podium as a water boy or at anytime for that matter at Dakar on
a bike! Well you might think it heroic and I will definitely relish in
the moment but hey sometimes the tortoise wins or almost wins, right?
Big thanks to the HRC staff for keeping us going day after day. Bike
and body. Much needed day off tomorrow in Tucuman, Argentina. Day
after tomorrow we start the final week and every day is like a Baja
500 for the next 7 days. Super exhausted going to sleep.
GO Johnny GO