We nearly ran over a biker at the seventh stage of Dakar: Ardavichus 10 января 2012, 13:19
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Arthur Ardavichus. Screenshot of the team's video
The truck crew of Kazakhstan team Astana nearly smashed into a biker at the seventh stage of Dakar, Tengrinews/kz reports.
“The biker was driving right ahead of us at one of the first hills. So we emerged at the top of the hill right after him. There were two options then: either to smash into him right there or to turn to the side and loose time detouring. We decided to turn to the side,” Astana pilot Arthur Ardavichus said. The accident made Kazakhstan crew maneuver through sand dunes. One more truck followed Astana and got stuck in those sands for several hours.
Kazakhstan crew lost several minutes to save the biker at this part of the stage and had to compensate them during the rest of the race. “We were speeding up and caught up with another competitor truck. We started to ‘heat him up’, i.e. we neither overtook him nor we asked him to make way. We just drove right behind him. He had to speed up and in the end he got into several rough spots and broke down. That’s how we ‘eliminated’ another competitor,” the racer said.
After the seventh stage Astana was ranked fourth in the general classification. There are still seven stages to go. Kazakhstan team does not set any major goals. “Of course, we are joking now. But while in the cabin at the special part of the road we are risking our lives and always think of how to get home safe. Everyone wants us to achieve good results. But wait, get into the truck yourself and then say, whether you really want the results. It gets scary sometimes,” Ardavichus said.
The eighth stage of Dakar took place between Chilean cities Copiapo and Antofagasta. According to experts, this stage was quite easy for piloting and navigation. The route was laid along gravel roads with the only danger of sharp rocks on the roadsides.