BMW boys battle on to Bamako - January 11th 2006
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Race to Dakar rider Simon Pavey is on his way to Bamako after successfully completing today's special stage on day 12 of the 2006 Euromilhões Lisbon to Dakar Rally. He is riding alongside friend and fellow BMW rider Nick Plumb, following the retirement of team-mate Matt Hall from the rally earlier this week.
After yesterday's competition element of the rally was cancelled as a tribute to Australian rider Andy Caldecott (who was killed in a high speed crash just 250 kilometres into Monday's special stage) the whole day was treated as a liaison. This allowed participants to recover slightly from the exhaustion of the previous days and to refocus their efforts on making it 'home' to Dakar at the weekend.
For this second day in Mali, there were exactly 100 riders who started their engines early this morning and set off in the direction of the capital. With the dunes and soft sand now largely behind them, the landscape became more verdant and after a short liaison, competitors began 231 kilometres of twisty special stage, featuring narrow tracks, forests, savannas and the ever-present hazard of wandering wild animals.
Franco-Malain rider Alain Duclos posted his first career stage win on the Dakar on home soil, while Marc Coma slightly extended his lead (34'24") over Cyril Despres in the overall standings. Simon Pavey finished today's special in 93rd place, with Nick Plumb directly behind him. This puts Plumb 86th in the overall standings, with Pavey in 93rd. Both riders are currently part way through a 424-kilometre liaison to the bivouac at Bamako.
For more information about the Race to Dakar team, enthusiasts can visit www.racetodakar.com.