After yesterday’s mixed fortunes for the team, there was no let up for the riders in the 416-km fourth competitive stage of the 2017 Dakar Rally that ran from San Salvador Jujuy to Tupiza in Bolivia. The first part of the special, with a mix of very soft sand and a deep layer of fine dust, made riding a challenge of skill and mental fortitude.
But despite the hard riding conditions, made even tougher by the altitude, both Hero Motosports Team Rally riders, Joaquim Rodrigues and C.S. Santosh showed ample amount of grit and skills to improve upon their overnight positions.
Rodrigues also displayed exemplary sportsmanship when he stopped twice to call in the medical evacuation helicopter to the rescue of two crashed riders on the stage. Though, it affected his rhythm, still the Portuguese rider completed the stage with a time of 5 hour 37 minute 48 seconds that put him in 32th place for the day and 18th in the provisional overall general classification.
“Today’s stage was complicated beginning with a sand section with dunes. I had a hard time passing the section because the sand was very soft. So, I struggled, got stuck and lost a lot of time in there. Then when I got on my way again, unfortunately I had to stop twice because of two accidents right in front of me, and I had to call the helicopter. I am happy to arrive at the finish injury free and I am ready for tomorrow,