It wasn’t a great prologue stage for me so hopefully that’s not a sign of how things will go for me here in Australia! The prologue was only 20km long so when I got stuck behind a bike I couldn’t pass it was always going to cost me. My final time has me starting the first stage of the rally back in seventh but I will be doing my best to make this work in my favour.
One positive thing to come out of the prologue is that I didn’t have to deal with any kangaroos. Hopefully I can avoid them for the entire rally because everybody keeps telling me how dangerous they can be out on the course. If I don’t see a single kangaroo while I’m racing I won’t be disappointed at all.
It’s not just the animals I have to worry about though, there are some great local riders in the race. It was obvious to see during the prologue how motivated these riders are to do well. It seems like they will treat me like a rabbit to be chased down by a pack of hungry dogs. I had to deal with the same thing at the Rally dos Sertões in Brazil recently. I just have stay focused on maintaining my own motivation and things will be fine. Also, at the Rally dos Sertões I had a pretty bad prologue and still managed to win the race!
'I’m now ready to start the serious business and get out there on the first stage.'
I’m now ready to start the serious business and get out there on the first stage. We ride out at 6:30am and will we travel over 600km, these kind of numbers let you know you’re involved in a rally raid!
There are two timed sections on the first stage so I’m just working out how I will approach it. Perhaps I will have the chance to find my feet during the first half of the stage and then get the opportunity for a little push in the second half. Because this is my first time racing here in Australia and everything is so new for me I don’t think it would be wise to start taking any big risks early on in the race.
The area we are racing in is about 400km north of Perth and since leaving the city the weather has dropped considerably. There has been lots of rainfall on the course over the past couple of weeks so it will be interesting to see how it feels during the race. Hopefully the rain will help prevent too much dust flying up, this would be good for me because I starting a few bikes back.
This rally feels like it’s going to be an intense learning experience for me. How quickly I can cope with the new type of challenges out here will be the key to my final position. Wish me luck!
Keep track of Cyril and his outback adventure at the 2011 Australasian Safari by checking back in for a read of his daily blog.
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- Official website cyrildespres.com
- More about Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton
- Official Australasian Safari website