Kolomý Wins 3rd Rank Against Blue Army
Stage eight brought with it the first sand dunes. Martin Kolomý was the only pilot able to get among the team of the Russian KAMAZs and rank 3rd, with the same resulting overall ranking after this stage.
The peloton transferred from the Chinese city of Karamay to Urumqi today, with the special section in the length of 250 kilometres. The pilots tried riding in Chinese dunes for the first time. Their dune experience will continue in the next stages and it will also probably be the dunes that will finally decide about the overall winner. Martin Kolomý was successful today, achieving the third quickest time of the day and becoming the only pilot managing to “break into” the strong team of the Russian KAMAZs. “The first dune experience today, I am glad we did not make any mistake. In the beginning the route was the same as so far and so we drove with reserve and with the aim to cover it without problems. The route is full of hits and bangs but our TATRA holds and so we are able to keep pace with the blue trucks. Our clear handicap is the lack of knowledge of the local terrain, but I do not think our performance has been bad for the premiere so far,“ was Kolomý´s comment.
“We are in the middle and the first half was quite rough, as is shown by the torso of the starting field still in the game. But now we face the part which was the main reason why we are here – the dunes. So tomorrow I will try to rest, heal the wounds of my Phoenix and then fly on, summarised Martin the first part of the Silk Way, continuing with the rest day on Sunday and the ninth stage on Monday.
“I must say it is an extreme race, checking the limits of not only Phoenix but the whole team. So far we have covered over five and a half thousand kilometres, in addition against time, so I dare say maybe worse than Dakar. Anyway, I am glad TATRA works well and tomorrow we have to gain strength for the rest of the stages. We believe Martin will finally end on the podium,” said the technical director of the Roudnice team Robin Dolejš about the to-date progress of the race.
Tomorrow the pilots will enjoy the so much deserved and welcomed rest day in the course of which they can restore their strength and prepare for the second half, which, in the words of experts and competition organisers, should be even more difficult and key for the final ranking. On Monday they will resume the battle with an over 800 km long stage with a 421 kilometre long measured section, and above all again in the dunes.