Jan­uary 4, Dakar Stage 3

‘They had to give me oxy­gen’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Feature -

I am awo­ken by the sound of a baf­fle-free Husq­varna en­gine, no more than 30 mi­crons from my in­ner ear. It is 4am and for the rid­ers a new day is dawn­ing. Lyn­don is op­ti­mistic. “I’m ex­cited now, although last night was rough. It took me ages to get to sleep. My hands and feet were tin­gling from al­ti­tude med­i­ca­tion. Also my bike fell on my tent in the night and burst my wa­ter blad­der.”

The rid­ers are ner­vous. Stage 3 is widely be­lieved to be one of the hard­est stages, chiefly due to the al­ti­tude. The Spe­cial Stage takes the rid­ers over a 5000-me­tre high pass, which should be so cold and dif­fi­cult that it is manda­tory for rid­ers to take cold weather gear with them. Barreda rolls in at 3.30pm and then a few more rid­ers ar­rive in dribs and drabs.

Lyn­don ap­pears around 5.30pm with a face like a chim­ney sweep. 9pm rolls around and David ar­rives with a re­mark­able amount of vigour for a man who’s just spent 16 hours in the sad­dle.

We see Kurt ar­rive. David breathes a sigh of re­lief. “God, the al­ti­tude re­ally got to me,” says Kurt. “My head was all over the place. I fell off a cou­ple of times. I didn’t re­alise how bad I was, but when we got to the fin­ish I went to get off the bike and nearly fell over. They sat me down and gave me oxy­gen. I wanted to go straight away but they wouldn’t let me. It was like some­one was squeez­ing my head.”

Lyn­don Poskitt fin­ishes bleed­ing his rear brake dur­ing the Dakar Rally

Max Hunt with road­book home­work

Poskitt hides wine in a Malle Moto box

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.