Stage 10: Jan 12 2017: CHILECITO > SAN JUAN – 751mk – P41 (3MM)December 6, 2016
Stage 8: 10 Jan 2017: UYUNI > SALTA – P44 (2MM)December 6, 2016
Stage 9: Jan 11 2017: SALTA > CHILECITO - 977km - Cancelled
On the morning of Stage 9, a massive landslide hit the village of Volcan, 160km from Salta. The resulting devastation forced the Dakar organisers to cancel the Stage. Adventure Spec's Dave Lomax picked up the phone as Lyndon took a moment to call in and share his thoughts and frustrations at another lost days racing...
Dave: Hello, Dave Lomax speaking.
Dave: Lyndon! How are you doing today?
Lyndon: Compared to last time? Some better, some worse!
Dave: Worse?! You're OK aren't you?
L: Yeah, Physically I've got issues, but all the Malle Moto guys have. My knee is sceptic and causing me a lot of pain on the liasons, but once I'm on stage I can forget about it.
D: How is the sleep situation and levels of exhaustion?
L: Yesterday was an 1150km day including racing. I got in about midnight and to bed about 3am. You'd know about it if you had one of those days, I've had quite a few now...
D: 1150km?!?! Thats a big day even by Dakar standards.
L: Yeah, and to top it off my Sentinel Speaker isn’t working.
D: What's that?
L: It's the thing that you hear beeping at me all the time. I suppose it's the way the roadbook talks to me to tell me things like speed zones to stop me getting penalties. It also tells me when cars and lorries catch me up. They press a button when they see me from behind and the sentinel screams to tell me to move over. Cars passing is one of the most dangerous times on stage and without the sentinel yesterday it was a nightmare.
D: Do you not carry a spare?
L: The Sentinel system is nothing to do with us. It's provided by the the ASO
D: Can you ask them for a spare or repair?
L: I asked them yesterday morning before the stage, but they said there was nothing they could do so I rode without it.
D: How was that?
L: I spent most of the stages looking behind me every few minutes, which made concentrating on racing really difficult, and even then I almost got hit by a car. Both of us swerved at the last minute, I was just about OK , but he hit some rocks and had to pull over a few seconds later. I think he damaged something. After that I was really worried about it.
D: I'm not surprised. And what about the speeding stuff, were you OK?
L: No, I got three penalties yesterday because I had no sentinel speaker to warn me exactly when the speed zone was enforced. They were all about 10km/h over for 2 seconds and stuff. I was really upset about it when I got in last night. I think I might have had a bit of a shout at the ASO guys about it...
D: What?! I'm not surprised. Surely they will remove them if they realise that the reason for them is because their equipment isn't working properly?
L: Who knows, I think they have bigger things to worry about here...after I got in last night the road behind me was blocked by a huge landslide because of the rain and half the racers and support crews got stuck out in the middle of nowhere. Todays stage is cancelled because of it.
D: The event is starting to sound more a war zone than a race. But, that must be a relief for you to get another easy day.
L: No, not at all. We have to ride 750km on the road today. We'd all (The Malle Moto guys) rather race.
L: Yeah, this day on day off stuff isn't really what we came here for. These next few days were some brutal stages designed to sort the men from the boys and we're all really gutted we won't get the chance to ride them, we all really wanted a chance to push ourselves properly. I'm tired, but my stamina feels good. I'm really bike fit from the Races To Places stuff and I've got a lot more to give. But, thats the weather for you...I guess it's doing a big favour for the slower struggling riders though.
D: You sound pretty pushed to me! Your speech is still really slurred, you know that?
L: Yeah, everything in my head is a bit fuzzy.
D: How is the bike?
L: Not so good there is a vibrating noise somewhere, but I didn't get time to check it last night, I got caught up trying to get my time penalties back from the ASO. I'm hoping the noise is just a loose bolt.
D: Not so good...And how is the filming going?
L: We're all getting loads done, we're just struggling to get it to you. There is so little good internet here, and when there is any so many people try to jump on it that it grinds to a halt. It's all going to make for an amazing film though!
D: Well, we're all loving what you are sending back, you're everywhere.
L: Y'know, I can't see what people are saying on Facebook (and the videos) about the stuff we are doing most of the time, but I can feel it here on the ground in SA. So many people shout for me by name now and yesterday a lady came to the bivouac to give me a gift she had made for me. I can't tell you how much difference it makes knowing the support I have got. When I'm feeling pretty shitty and cold the warmth from all my supporters makes me feel really good. I want to say again a massive thank you to everyone from me, can you pass that on?
D: I certainly can. Listen, only a few days racing left now. I know you're not going to get the race you wanted this year, but stay steady and safe and lets see you at the finish in one piece now.
L: Yeah, I'm going to keep it steady away.
D: Okay, good to talk. Thanks for the call. Speak later.
L: Will do, have a good one. It's raining here really heavily again now...
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