Steady Santosh overcomes tough stage

Last Updated 15 January 2018, 11:35 IST

India's C S Santosh overcame a marathon stretch and moved into a strong position to continue his steady run in the Dakar Rally.

Having spent a night at Uyuni without assistance, the competitors started the second leg of the marathon stage from Uyuni to Tupiza for the longest stage of the rally.

The riders covered a distance of 498 km followed by an 87 km liaison section. The stage offered the challenge of tough high altitude riding in the mountain sand dunes at 3500 metres above sea level.

For Hero MotoSports Team Rally, both the riders delivered solid performances to close the marathon stage in a strong position for the team.

Santosh has been gaining good ground lately and continued his steady run in stage 8 as well. He finished the stage at 38th position, which took him to 42nd in the overall rankings at the end of stage 8.

Stage 9 of the rally has been cancelled due to excessive rains the region has witnessed over the last few days.

Overflowing rivers are expected to pose grave dangers to the competitors and hence the organisers decided to call off the stage.

However, the riders and the rally will still need to cross the borders to move into Argentina on to their next bivouac at Salta, while covering the longest liaison section of the Dakar.

Santosh said, "I think this Marathon stage was the hardest I have ever done. It was incredibly difficult as we did 80 km off-piste and the camel grass. I was physically drained with the high altitude riding and also crashed a couple of times.

"By the time I reached the marathon bivouac I had nothing left in me. We had the longest stage of the Dakar which was tough again."  

(Published 15 January 2018, 11:32 IST)

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