Complicated sixth stage of the Silk Road Rally as the confusing, winding routes across the Mongolian steppes wreak havoc among riders and cause many navigational issues.
A thousand paths around Mongolia made for a tricky sixth day filled with navigation at the Silk Way Rally. The final stretches of the stage – with 408.17 kilometres against the clock proved to be particularly tough with some riders having great navigational difficulties to find the correct route. Riders, once again, had to face high-speed track en route through the Mongolian steppes.
After yesterday’s crash Joan Barreda – who was nevertheless able to make it to the finish, albeit very late in the day – today bounced back, registering notable times to eventually finish third, three minutes behind the winner of the special. Monster Energy Honda Team companion José Ignacio Cornejo finished tenth.
Kevin Benavides hadn’t counted on the complications which eventually arose in the final stretches. The Argentinean rider was having a good day, recording good times on the stopwatch, in a bid not to concede time and set himself up to able to attack over the final stages. However, a series of confusing notes in the roadbook saw him among a group of several riders lose time trying to hunt down the correct route. Benavides dropped precious minutes and likewise slipped down the overall standings. The Argentine rider will go all out to try and claw back the time before the race finishes on Sunday.
Tomorrow there will be no special timed stage, but neither will there be a rest day due to the liaison section to be completed between Dalanzadgad and Bayinbaolige. The journey will feature a 550.66-kilometre trip from the final bivouac in Mongolia to the new camp in China.