The race has come to the end of the first country and I’m still here and ready to ride into Chile tomorrow. It’s been a bit touch and go at times, especially yesterday when I had a massive crash. Some guy tried to pass me in the dust and just cleaned me out. There was about €1,500 worth of damage done to the bike and I had to rejoin the oil cooler out on the track. I was out there for a while playing mechanic on the stage, but I’m still standing and hopefully Chile will be a bit kinder to me.
I got a quick look at the guy who crashed into me, I know the model of bike he’s on but I haven’t yet figured out his number. I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for him because that sort of thing shouldn’t really be happening at any race. I think it was one of the frontrunners who got lost and was giving it full throttle trying to get his position back. This might be my first Dakar but I know that riding in a panic like that is not the best way to go about things.
'It’s a terrain I’d never ridden before in my life.'
Today, I started right at back because of yesterday’s crash but I really enjoyed the stage. I got my first real taste of the soft dunes, it’s a terrain I’d never ridden before in my life. I happy to have my KTM 450cc Rally because it’s definitely the machine for these type of conditions.
Now tomorrow’s stage has been cancelled, it looks like we’re going to have two rest days. That’s a bit of a shame because I was feeling that I’d just got started in this race today. The original plan was to travel to the start of stage overnight and that would have meant I missed the views from the top of the mountain. At least now I can take it easy and enjoy the spectacular views I’ve been hearing about. I had some tough times in Argentina but I’m glad to have raced through some stunning scenery.
Follow the rest of Chris Birch’s Dakar debut on Red Bull’s dedicated desert classic website.
- Check out Chris' profile page
- Take a look at Cyril Despres' latest Dakar blog
- Go to the official website of the Dakar Rally 2012