One thing I've learnt from my experiences of racing in Argentina is not to expect anything from a stage. Today should have been a tricky stage but it wasn’t, two days before it was supposed to be easy and it was really tough.
If the race was in France, I could tell you a week before the stage what we will find out on the racetrack but this is not my country so I just have to guess at what I’ll find out there.
I was talking to a few guys who had come over from Chile to watch the race and I asked them what I should expect to find when we race in their country tomorrow. Some of the guys told me it will be cold, some said it will be hot and other people said there will even be snow. I’ll just have to race the conditions I find when I get there.
'I’m leaving this country with a few bumps and bruises.'
I ended today with another stage win and now I leave Argentina with a 10-minute lead. I’m also leaving this country with a few bumps and bruises. Today I took a second to look down at the roadbook and the branch of a tree crashed into my nose. There was lots of blood running down over my mouth but it looked a lot worse than it is. It would have been worse if the cut had been above my eyes but thankfully my goggles and helmet protect me against that.
The insole for my boot that I lost yesterday will stay behind in Argentina because it seems nobody found it out on the road by Chilecito. It’s not an essential piece of kit but I do miss it. It’s nice to my kit symmetrical, I have two knees pads, two back protectors, two camel bags. Everything is a pair like Noah’s Ark! But it’s okay, I’m going to improvise something else to put in the boot - if you can’t find a solution for a little problem like this then the Dakar is probably not the place for you.
Tomorrow we enter Chile and I hope I can maintain this lead as we get deep into the Atacama Desert.
Keep tabs on Cyril’s 2012 Dakar Rally on Red Bull’s dedicated desert classic website.
- Check out more Cyril Despres blogs
- Head to his official website at cyrildespres.com
- Go to the official website of the Dakar Rally 2012