A sense of tranquillity now permeates the bivouac in Arequipa as the Dakar reaches its rest day. The riders, however, after a well-deserved morning rest and massage session, are now preparing for the next stage while the mechanics have spent the morning checking over the bikes ready for this afternoon.
Today, Saturday at 17:00, riders are due to set off for the new bivouac in Camaná, some 175 kilometres from Arequipa, from where they will begin the final assault with the Dakar heading into the home straight for the conclusive week. Competitors were barely able to savour more than a few hours relaxation on Saturday. ‘Rest’ proved to be little more than a symbolic term as riders busied themselves with physical recovery, massages, revision of roadbooks and other preparations for the climax of the 2019 odyssey.
The team is currently relishing a fine moment, not only for the overall leadership held by Ricky Brabec, but also for news about team-mate Nacho Cornejo. Yesterday, the Monster Energy Honda Team’s Chilean stopped to assist companion Paulo Gonçalves who was waiting to be airlifted by helicopter to hospital. However, race authorities ASO didn’t immediately return the time lost and waited until this morning to announce a revision of the rankings. In the new timings, Nacho Cornejo was deemed to have finished second in yesterday’s special, 2’25 behind the winner. This moves the rider to 14th in the general rankings at less than an hour from overall leader and team-mate Ricky Brabec.
Tomorrow’s stage, which heads out from the bivouac in Camaná, will have a total of 839 kilometres before reaching the camp in San Juan de Marcona. On the way competitors face 317 kilometres against the clock.