Stage 13: The last big day

In the last long stage of the 2013 Dakar it would have been easy for riders to think that the hardest days were behind them. #156 Todd Smith approached the day conservatively and was setting good times early on. By WP8 he appeared to have found a steady rhythm and was running 17th fastest. However not long afterwards he found himself with a much greater challenge before him.

“200km into todays stage the map tower broke off my bike (not from crashing), so for the remaining 200km special and 200km liaison I carried it in one hand – not fun I’m telling you! I was feeling pretty good before that too but I lost heaps of time trying to fix it. So, I think I’m still in 34th overall after a pretty low placing for todays stage. Well just one stage to go. If I can get to the finish with no more drama I’ll be relieved.”

Tenacity and perseverance saw him through to the flag but he lost an hour in the last three waypoints. Thankfully, #131 Warren Strange had a clear run and chipped away at the order to finish 23rd on the day. #89 Brett Cummings continued his upward trend, finishing 29th for the day to place 43rd overall. On his quad, #274 Paul Smith cruised along to finish in 11th place.

GHR times and overall placings: MOTO
23th #131 – STRANGE Warren (AUS) 46h32m32s (+04:55:14 behind leader)
34th #156 – SMITH Todd (AUS) 47h57m28s (+06:20:10 behind leader)
43rd #089 – CUMMINGS Brett (ZAF) 50h02m42s (+08:25:24 behind leader)

GHR times and overall placings: QUAD
7th #274 – SMITH Paul (AUS) 53h31m11s (+05:43:52 behind leader)

Stage 14: La Serena > Santiago
Tomorrow is the last day of racing and only 625km remain in the 2013 Dakar. A 346km special in the low-lying coastal country will decide the final standings before the podium finish in Santiago.

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