The participants in the Dakar Rally 2023 have now had so many dunes in a few days’ time that it became a bit boring. Dunes were also the case in the thirteenth stage. “The same sand, the same dunes. 150 kilometers up, down, up, down. It became a bit monotonous,” said Tom Coronel.
Brother Tim agreed with that. “Bouncing and bumping all the way.” While doing so, Tim and Tom rode the 22nd time in the stage that led the participants out of the Empty Quarter, back into the inhabited world. “Super nice”, Tim thought, “but I’ve had enough of it. We have not taken any risks today and kept the focus on the finish. We saw some people taking the wrong direction, or lying on their roof, including Brian Baragwanath. So that was an extra warning to keep concentrated, no matter how monotonous.”
The dunes in the stage to Al Hofuf were high and soft, but not very difficult. “There were two climbs you had to prepare well, especially with the tire pressure,” Tom said. “We got through without any problems, we never got stuck. We only lost some time because we were stuck behind an SSV. At a certain point we decided not to bother, but just stay behind it.”
At the finish of the special stage, after 153 kilometers, Tim and Tom saw that the CV joint leaked some fat. “We have repaired that with duct tape and tiewraps, hoping that it will last for 500 kilometers.” That was the distance from the finish to the bivouac in Al Hofuf; the last bivouac of this Dakar. Tomorrow there will be a stage of 136 kilometers on the program and then the finish line in Damman awaits./p>