With some 4700 km of grueling competition through ups and downs on South American soil under the belt, UAE multiple motocross champion Mohammed Al Balooshi is so close to accomplish his mission at Dakar Rally, that he can almost touch the finish line.
The race to the ramp in Lima started almost 2 weeks ago with administrative and technical checks, and with 9 stages complete, the local star rider has put together a great race, riding smartly with focus on navigation and in avoiding making mistakes. With the clear goal in mind of completing his second consecutive Dakar, his strategy paid off, and Al Balooshi was also able to move higher in the overall ranking, seating now in 26th position. The highest an Emirati rider has ever achieved in the motorcycle category in this legendary event.
The 41st edition of the Dakar Rally, which was held for the first time ever within only one country, has been labeled by the connoisseurs and most experienced competitors as the toughest of all time. The fabulous and always changing Peruvian terrain combined with a brilliant scouting and planning work done by the team designing the rally route at Amaury Sport Organization (A.S.O., the rally organizers) have delivered an amazing event, tougher and more challenging than anyone would have thought it was humanly feasible. The very difficult navigation, along with the terrain, extreme weather conditions, and the complexity of the racing elements that the event continuously threw at the competitors every step of the way conspired to make this event so tough that only 78 riders are still fighting to reach the end, out of 149 who started the race 9 days ago. This means that almost half of the super athletes who started the race could not handle the daily challenges and either the men or their machines succumbed to the pressure, the toughness, the fatigue, the pain, the extreme rigorousness of Dakar. The list of withdrawals includes many of the strongest candidates to winning the race, with the last one being the French star Adrien Van Beveren whose bike’s engine broke yesterday. And we say super athletes, because let’s be clear, no one who has not trained day in and day out for years, and that is not as fit as can be would dare to enter this race. And if they did, they would not survive the pace past the first couple of days. This is a race for the brave.
Stage 9 ran for a total of 409 kilometers on a loop around the city of Pisco. Yet another mass start in the morning and very demanding navigation made the day a tough one. “I’ve had a couple of harsh crashes during the race and I am suffering badly with a back pain since many days ago, and I am also with my motorcycle’s performance; but every kilometre we do bring us closer to the end, and our goal is to reach the finish line in the best posible position to raise the UAE flag” said Mohammed Al Balooshi from the rally bivouac, after finishing the day and while supervising his team’s work on the bike.
Stage 10 will be the final stage of the 2019 Dakar Rally, and will cover 359 km to reach Lima – capital of Peru- for the closing ceremony. Despite being the last day, the last time-controlled section will be no walk in the park for the survivors still in the race as 90% of the rally route will go once again through towering dunes of very soft sand covered with old traces, and the remaining 10% through valleys and rocky river beds. 112 kilometres of Special Stage separate Emirati champion Mohammed Al Balooshi from accomplishing his mission.
Mb. 055 – 929 8025