January 14, 2014
1 hour 59 minutes behind Peterhansel is a long way from where Robby Gordon expected to be after his barstorming performance in today’s special. After charging up to 5th place and maintaining it through nearly 400km, he was desperately unlucky to have to stop just 26 kilometres before the finish line.
The special ended with a 1km drop in the final 3km, the kind of extremely fast finish Gordon really enjoys where you hurtle down a sand bank keeping your feet well away from the brake as digging in to the sand on such a steep slope could be terminal. Arriving at this point in 5th would have made for an exhilarating ride down to the Pacific Ocean. The problems at the end of today’s special just take the dge of an exuberant part of the special.
Placed 27th when he finished, this was pushed back one place to 28th by a finisher with a later start time. His time places him 27th in the general standings, six minutes behind the SMG Buggy of Chabot. Despite finishing ahead of Gordon today on the stage, Baldwin sits just over 41/2 hours back in 36th place overall.