Kolomý Collapses in Finish But Still Satisfied
San Juan/Chilecito - Dakar Rally has experienced one of the hardest days in its history! Stage four was not only the longest measured test of this and the past eight years, but also the stage with the highest crew "mortality rate" in Dakar history. The truck pilot Martin Kolomý could comment on this on the basis of his personal experience, after having collapsed in the finish of exhaustion. despite the fact that his Tatra Buggyra team was the best Czech crew again with the fourth ranking.
Paradoxically enough, when Martin Kolomý says he loves these long and hard stages he does not mean it as a joke. he confirmed this in the Wednesday test, where he performed excellently, despite suffering hard. The fourth stage scheduled the longest measured section since 2005. The crews had to cover 657 measured km, divided by the organizers to two parts. "That is why the racing day was so demanding. Both measured sections were long and the roads were poor. We had no water at the end of the race and so I reached the finish absolutely dehydrated. The boys had to resuscitate me but we managed only thanks to the well prepared nutritional and drinking regime by Nutrend," said the tired Martin Kolomý of the Tatra Buggyra Racing team, for whom eight litres of beverage were not enough this time and who lost conscience for a while in the finish. His navigator René Kilián immediately fell asleep after the race and slept for three hours.
The trucks started the Wednesday stage from San Juan. The timer for the first measured section (216 km) was started after mere forty kilometres. The crew of Martin Kolomý started as the fourth mere thirty seconds after the Czech rival Aleš Loprais. "The road was terribly dusty but I managed to overcome Aleš after some twelve kilometres," said Kolomý, who ranked third for most of the race and his loss behind the quickest Russian Karginov was mere nine minutes. The current leader in the truck category De Rooy was riding between these two.
Before the second measured section (284 km) the crews could "rest" during the 150 km transfer. Kolomý did not make any mistake during the second speed test either. In the course of this section the trucks climbed from one thousand to three thousand metres above sea level. Even though the mountainous sections did not hold back the native of Bruntál and his mates from Plzen, they could not avoid problems completely. "When passing a river basin our antenna was torn off and our navigation system ceased working. Thanks to that we could not find the last way point and lost some five minutes. It is a pity, otherwise we would already jump up the podium. Never mind, the more important thing is that the truck holds together and works excellently so far," Kolomý tapped the wood. The podium expectations of himself and his crew were thwarted in the very last moments of the race by the Russian trucker Nikolaev, who was a mere minute quicker. Thus the potato medal was again left for the Tatra Buggyra team. "Although we quite like potatoes, we would like to jump up the podium as well," said the navigator René Kilián.
Another victorious stage reinforced the leading rank of the Dutch De Rooy, with Kolomý´s loss behind him, unlike many others, mere ten minutes. Thanks to that the latter squeezed among the top ten, now holding the eighth interim rank right after the Czech pilot Aleš Loprais, with the loss of slightly over 2 minutes behind him.
Thanks to the very hard race section the loss of most crews increased and thus the wheat was definitely separated from the chaff. Many crews lost several hours or did not even see the finish line at all. This is said to be the highest "mortality rate" in Dakar history. The organizers had to face many protests. But the Czech fans need not be desperate. The teams with Gyrtech support, except for Ardavichus, finished the race with better than twentieth rankings, including Jaroslav Valtr, who "laid" his Liaz on the side.
The longest measured section of this year ´s Dakar Rally is over. But the highest number of total kilometres to cover in one day is waiting for the trucks immediately on the following day. The Thursday 5th stage from Chilecito to Tucuman measures in total the incredible 911 km! this time the organizers again prepared tow measured sections, in total measuring 527 km. "This will be virtually the same as the previous stage. Again a good portion of hard terrain, which I like. A lot may be gained and a lot may be lost. But I hoe we will ride in the front. Again we will do our best to move upwards," added Martin Kolomý.
Results - Stage 4 (657 km): 1. De Rooy (NED) Iveco 6:06:40, 2. Karginov (RUS) Kamaz +2:01, 3. Nikolaev (RUS) Kamaz +9:04, 4. Kolomý (CZE) Tatra Buggyra +10:18, 5. Stacey (NED) Iveco +14:06, 9. Loprais (CZE) Tatra +23:12, 18. Vildman (CZE) Liaz +1:36:07, 22. Vrátný (CZE) Tatra +1:52:53, 23. Valtr (CZE) Liaz +1:54:25, 36. Tománek (CZE) Tatra +3:35:36, 40. Ardavichus (KAZ) Tatra +6:22:31.
Overall: 1. De Rooy (NED) Iveco +16:17:33, 2. Van Vliet (NED) MAN +36:12, 3. Karginov (RUS) Kamaz +41:11, 4. Nikolaev (RUS) Kamaz +57:03, 5. Stacey (NED) Iveco +59:42, 7. Loprais (CZE) Tatra +1:09:10, 8. Kolomý (CZE) Tatra Buggyra +1:11:19, 17. Vildman (CZE) Liaz +4:29:16, 19. Valtr (CZE) Liaz +4:58:23, 22. Vrátný (CZE) Tatra +5:38:21, 24. Tománek (CZE) Tatra +6:14:36, 32. Ardavichus (KAZ) Tatra +9:20:35.