Heartbreak in Peru.
Today most of us in the USA who are following the Dakar Rally woke to find our hopes of an American victory at Dakar fade away. Over the last week we’ve followed our heroes over the dunes and through the silt filled deserts of Peru, watched their story’s unfold, chances grow and chances fade. Ricky Brabec was having a phenomenal rally leading the general standing in the moto catagory. This was the first time an American has lead the rally and with only a few stages to go. It was all but his race but fate would decide otherwise.
Shortly after starting stage 8 near KM56 Ricky’s bike lost power and parked him for the 2019 Dakar. “Tell you the truth I dot know what happened.” Said Brabec on the stage next to his broken bike. “I just lost power to the bike and I don’t know, I have no words, Dakar bites again.” “I didn’t have a problem until a 100 meters from right here, the whole rally. Never touched the ground, no big issues. It was perfect, the rally was perfect for me, until today.”
As much as this stings for the young Californian there is no doubt he is a contender on the world stage of Dakar. No one can deny his performance and what was ultimately taken from him solely by a mechanical issue. His day will come.
All is not lost though with fellow American Andrew Short currently resides in 5th position on his Husqvarna. While the top spot is a stretch a podium finish is within reach if the stars align just right.
In the cars Nassar Al-Attiyah continues to have a solid lead followed by past Dakar winner Nani Roma and a hopeful Sebastian Loeb who are both at 46min and change behind the leader.
Casey Currie seems to be having a solid run at his first Dakar currently 5th in the utv category although a little over 2hrs down on time from the class leader.
A pair of Kamaz trucks lead the way in the T4 “Trash Trucks” as they’ve been affectionally named here in the U.S. with Dmitry Sotnikov leading teammate Eduard Nikolaev. Past winner Gerard De Rooy is just over an hour back on time but not completely out of reach for a win.
This can most definitely be classified as Robby Gordon’s most difficult Dakar. Having had his wings clipped before the race even started with a speed limit applied to his race car; Robby’s multiple teething problems with the Textron have hindered his progress and is currently more than 60hrs down from the leaders.
Only two more stages to run at the 2019 Dakar Rally. Anything can happen from one moment to the next, we can only wait and see how it unfolds.