January 14, 2014
Robby Gordon has had loads of luck in the 2014 Dakar and without exception, it has all been bad. You know you have had a bad Dakar when the Organisers, the ASO, label you “The Comeback Kid” at 5th position. Having won nine stages outright in the Dakar, Gordon doesnt really view 5th as a ‘comeback’.
Today was the day for all that to change. 57th place last night was commuted to 10th place after race officials credited Gordon with a time adjustment. Not luck as such, as it was justified by his actions in yesterday’s special.
Robby and navigator, Kellon Walch started well, leaving the start of today’s special in 10th place and storming up to 5th place by the 1st waypoint after just 39km of the 422km stage. A brief visit to 6th place as race leader Roma edged ahead at waypoint 4 was amended back to 5th after Sainz stopped for his own technical problems. At this point, Gordon might have been forgiven for thinking he had recieved just the tiniest piece of luck but that’s unlikely. He couldnt know that the special was going to bite him later on but he was pushing to get a result on his own merit rather than anyone else’s misfortune.
Baldwin, who started in 15th place has also had an up and down day. Or maybe that should be a down and up and down day having sunk to 24th place by the first waypoint, he pushed his Chevrolet Buggy up to as high as 13th place by midway through the special before problems pegged him back. He dropped from 13th to 29th but after a modest comeback of his own, finished today in 19th place having overtaken Gordon during the final section of the special. His time was 1 hour, 13 minutes and 28 seconds behind stage winner, Peterhansel who is inexorably closing down Roma at the top of the table in the general standings. After tday’s win, Peterhansel sits just 12 minutes, 10 seconds behind the lead. Having made up 11 minutes and 36 seconds today, Peterhansel has turned up the wick and we shall see tomorrow if Spaniard Nani Romi is feeing the heat.
Pictures from todays stage arent in yet. We’ll upload them as soon as the photographer arrives to the bivouac.