Stage 06: Into the hills.

Conditions today were reminiscent of home for the Australians, with firmer terrain and less sand but abundant dust as they entered the mountains in Chile. #131 Warren Strange finished 44th for the day, #89 Brett Cummings pulled up just behind in 45th place, advancing well up the order from his start position. The biggest advances for GHR were in the quad class with #274 Paul Smith spending most of the day in the top 10, finishing 11th for the day and now standing in 13th overall. #156 Todd Smith‘s otherwise smooth run was upset near the end of the stage and the team are aware of entrants with fueling troubles.

Comments from Todd Smith:
“We are now in Chile! I had a great stage, moving my way up the ranks until I was 20 km from the end. My bike had what we think was a fuel problem. In the end I had to push it over the finish line. A bit disappointing, but tomorrow is another day…”

GHR times and placings: MOTO
30th #131 – STRANGE Warren 17h23m46s (+01:48:23 behind leader)
49th #156 – SMITH Todd 19h15m27s (+03:40:04 behind leader +00:15:00 penalty)
78th #089 – CUMMINGS Brett 21h00m37s (+05:25:14 behind leader)

GHR times and placings: QUAD
13th #274 – SMITH Paul 21h34m48s (+03:51:55 behind leader)

Stage 07: Calama > Salta means a crossing of the Andes into Argentina. The bikes and quads take a 418km liaison just south of the Bolivian border before starting the 218km special for the day. The highest point on the stage exceeds a dizzy 3,850m, and all but the very end will be held above 3,400m elevation. Shortness of breath will tax both the riders and their machines – an situation which compounds any weaknesses. There will be no sand encountered tomorrow, just soil, stones and the chilly mountain air. Avoiding major mechanical problems will be of utmost importance since Stage 7 is a marathon stage without assistance from the service crews. All will be mindful that they’ll only have their own resourcefulness to prevent any issues being carried over into Stage 8.

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