Dakar Rally Stage 9 complete- Women entering Marathon Stage 10 tomorrow

Dakar Rally Stage 9 complete- Women entering Marathon Stage 10 tomorrow

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Dakar Rally 2020 Women Competitors Media coverage brought to you by:

Dakar Rally Stage 9 is complete leaving Wadi Al Dawasir to Haradh covering 886 kms with 410 kms timed. With the first 150 kms resembling hard enduro terrain with rocky sections, competitors then raced along-side edges of steep precipices to valleys below before turning inward racing over sand plains in preparation for Marathon Stage tomorrow in the “Empty Quarter’. Area known as most inhospitable in the Saudi.

All Women achieved Stage 9 finish positions with next 2 days doer test of endurance with no assistance crew allowed or technical support. As Mirjam says: ‘I think we really end up in a bivouac in the middle of the desert’.

Dakar Stage 9 Photo Credit: Charly Lopez

In SSV category Stage 9, what looked like run of bad luck for female duo Camelia Liparoti and Annett Fischer with petrol block at Liason dampening chance to start, turned into better fix-it-in-time and both completed ‘Dakar Experience’ category in 34th place.

After having too close encounter with fellow competitor in Car category in Stage 8, Fernanda Kanno and Alonso Carillo survived yet again challenging terrain of sand dunes spearheading Fernanda as first female and South American competitor to finish Stages 1-8.

Fernanda: ‘8 stages finished 🙌🙌 Today there was everything, in a dune court we collided with our friends from Spain @joan_font_dakar and @ borjarodri7 🤭🤭🤭 but all ok 🤣

‘There were dunes of very different land. For past 2 days we don’t bathe because our help stayed in Riyadh with the suitcases 😭😭  But nothing takes away the happiness of one more day surviving the dakar rally 🙌’. 

Fellow Car category driver Cristina Gutierrez and co-driver Pablo Moreno consolidated their position finishing 39th bringing the Spanish pair to 43rd Overall.

Fernanda Kanno and Alonso Carillo Stage 9 Photo Credit: A.S.O

Cristina: ‘Super groundbreaking stage with many hidden traps that have generated many accidents. After the first neutralization we have been able to run a little longer and in general we have saved the day well’.

‘This being a very fast Dakar and maybe that’s why we still have a little … but we’re still fighting. Tomorrow plays a very important stage, the 1st part of the Marathon: there will be no assistance so taking the car without problems will make a difference. We continue! 🐢💨

Leading Women’s Bike Overall category and Stage 9 rankings is Laia Sanz finishing Overall 17th position- first section was most enjoyable then Laia dialed back in straight out speed section.

Laia: ‘The first part of the stage has gone well today. The first 40 kilometres have been very technical, very nice, like an enduro. I really enjoyed myself, but after the refueling (km 180) the stage was flat out for a long time. I’ve slowed down a bit, because I didn’t want to get hurt. I don’t see the funny side of this kind of stage. I hope tomorrow will be different’.

Laia Sanz Stage 9 Photo Credit: A.S.O

Mirjam Pol had fast and furious pace on, as it turned out too much so, clocking a penalty- not happy rider. Ranked Overall in 45th position, Mirjam is ready for Marathon Stage- packed bag tick, one tent- one sleeping mat tick, remaining box to be ticked after finish.

Mirjam: ‘It was a difficult day, the first part was heavy, also physically, with many stones. They had already warned about that, it was “Morocco Style”, so to speak. I was not comfortable with it, it all cost me a lot of effort’. 

‘And to make matters worse, I raced too fast! I was racing in a 20-kilometer-long speed zone where we were allowed to race a maximum of 90 km, but that went well … then it turned into a speed zone where we were only allowed to race 50 km, and I saw that too late.  A time penalty, pff; Everything is a first time, apparently’.

South African rookie Taye Perry is really having a stunner of debut Dakar hauling Overall position of 54th. Completing Stage 9 in 50th in 4 hours- 36 minutes- 41 seconds, Taye has really made her mark claiming Dakar suits the petite 49 kgs race-endurance style- and I bet Taye will be back in the future.

Taye: ‘Special started with about 100km of cautions and dangers. Recent rains had done their damage we were told. Loose rocky river beds and, get this, some Saudi bushveld! Managed to keep a solid pace, few minor rookie mistakes, backtracking towards a way-point I already had. Rest of the special opened up, some fast stuff and then some tricky semi dune rock sections to end off the 410km, before a last little 97km liaison to the next Bivouac. Tomorrow we head into day one of the Marathon stages. Empty Quarter Dunes on the menu!’

Taye Perry Stage 9 Photo Credit: Taye

Fellow country-female rider Kirsten Landman made specific head-way finishing Overall in 60th place.

Sara Garcia ‘Original by Motul’ category has undeniably toughest challenge to race Dakar ‘Unassisted’ over Stages 1-12. With Sara’s main concern over solo mechanics on bike after racing, solo fix-anything that happens, this Dakar has put determination to finish to the test.

Interesting play-out will be Stages 10-11 with all competitors on level playing field- all unassisted- how will everyone fair? Sara’s time to shine- possibly!

Dakar Rally Stage 10: Haradh to Shubaytah 608 kms with 534 kms timed.

Header Photo: Kirsten Landman Stage 7 Credit: A.S.O

Words: Sharon Cox.

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