Tuareg Rally Report - Day 1 (Saturday 8th March 2014) - #318 Gabriel Bolton
Profi Moto class: 130 kms - 30% dunes, 70% sand piste.
“I still feel 100%”
Gabriel has a successful first day, despite a mechanical problem towards the end of the stage.
“Fortunately it wasn’t as bad as I’d feared” he begins. “Both Paul and I had built up a picture after hearing these stories [from last year] about how soft the sand dunes were, and how difficult it would be, but I was pleasantly surprised.”
“We stuck to our plan to take it easy and stay together for the first day” he continues “We just jogged to the bikes [during the Le Mans style sprint start], then kept a steady pace and concentrated on our navigation - making sure everything was spot-on, and it seems to have paid dividends - we made every checkpoint, which was our goal.”
“We rode well within our limits - passed a few riders, were passed by others, and finished the first loop (target time between 2-4 hours) in three hours, which we were very pleased with.”
“Of course we got stuck from time to time, and came off a few times - but we helped each other out - and by the end of the first loop [the Profi group ride double the distance of the amateur riders on the first day] we both felt perfectly able to continue the second half - which was reassuring that we’d made the right choice entering Profi after all.”
Gabe suffered a minor set-back late in the second half, when his clutch cable broke while tackling the soft dunes. “I had a [brand new] spare cable with me, but unfortunately they had supplied the wrong one, and it wouldn’t fit the bike!” he exclaims “The was nothing else to do by try and ride to the end without using the clutch - fortunately we were only about 15 kilometers from the end, and I wasn’t going to forfeit the final checkpoint.”
“It’s only the end of the first day, but I still feel 100% ready to tackle a good few more days like this” he says “Had we tried to ride faster, I’m sure we wouldn’t be looking at the rest of the rally with such optimism!”
Stage result: day 1/7: 29th (5h41m)
Overall position: day 1/7: 29th
Links: www.zenoverland.com www.dirtpunk.co.uk