Andrew Short had a good stage 4 performance today. His time of 3:57:31 earned him a 3rd place finish for the day.
Stage 4 included a 286 KM timed stage. Starting 11th, Short rode hard to make up some of the time lost during stage 3 for a “small technical issue”. Once again, he was able to catch and pass a number of riders that had started before him.
Navigation through the Liwa desert in cloudy but hot conditions made navigation very difficult. The pace was fast and navigation difficult, but Short finished less than a minute behind second place Honda mounted finisher, Joan Barreda.
Despite his 3rd place finish on stage 4, Short was unable to make up any additional positions. He is still ranked 5th overall.
Short was optimistic about his finish and had this to say:
“The terrain was really fast today, especially for sand dunes. It seems like we ran through the valleys a lot of the time and that increased the pace, I think. The light was really flat and that made the drops tricky to see. All of that came together to make a long stage even more tiring as you had to fully concentrate the whole time. It was a really good experience for me and I can imagine it would be even tougher to lead out when it’s like that. For me, I’ll continue to learn and hopefully have a good final day tomorrow.”
Only one stage remains. Stage 5 features over 351 KM of riding. The timed special stage will be a 214 KM route once again through the Liwa desert.
Short has a big challenge ahead. If he is to make the podium, he will have to find about 31 minutes. That’s no small task.