The seventh stage of the Dakar Rally 2019 took the riders through a 387 kilometres path. This ride included 323 kilometres of special. Said to be the toughest stage of the Rally, stage 7 got off to a delayed start owing to morning fog in San Juan De Marcona. It was further marred by bad weather conditions as sandstorms impaired the visibility to an extent where competitors could barely see anything.
A total of 387 kilometers were run during the stage, with 323 kilometers constituting the special. Joaquim Rodrigues, who received a 40 min penalty late in the evening yesterday for missing a waypoint during Stage 6, also ran steadily and finished in the 11th position. He climbed up a couple of positions from his post penalty position of 26th overnight, to finish at 24th position in the overall rankings. Oriol Mena, on the other hand, finished the stage in 13th position, allowing him to retain his 13th position in the overall rankings.
Joaquim Rodrigues (Comp No: 27): “It was quite a difficult stage today with the weather conditions not good for riding. It was a fast stage and we passed a lot of completely ruined tracks from the previous stage. The sandstorm in the desert was terrible and made it difficult to see anything beyond the bike, making the navigation really tricky. Just before the finish, Michael Metge ran out of fuel so I tried to push his bike to the finish line. I am happy to finish this stage. The bike is performing well and we will see how it goes from here.”
Oriol Mena continued his good run with yet another solid performance. Oriol Mena (Comp No: 7): “It was a good stage for me as my hand and knee felt better and allowed me to pick up some rhythm. About 50 km from the finish, the conditions became really windy and dusty making it difficult to see anything. I rode safely, followed the roadbook and focused on crossing the finish line. I am happy to end another day on a positive note. One day less to the finish now.”