The second to the last stage of the Dakar Rally was also the last one that could bring major changes in the general standings. Despite small issues, Kamil Wiśniewski checked in at the finish line with 12th time, securing the 13th position in the general classification before the final loop around Cordoba.
Before the Dakar caravan left San Juan for Cordoba, one could sense the approaching finish of the 40th edition of the Dakar Rally. However, as warned Wiśniewski, that was no time for losing focus. “I’m not trying to predict my final position because the history of the raid clearly shows that everything can change any second, any kilometer, and round any bend. You get your result once you cross the finish line. The most important part is to actually complete the Dakar”, emphasized the leader of the 4×4 quad category.
The racers had to tackle 369 kilometers of an off-road challenge. Although the original plan was to shorten the stage for quads and motorbikes, the riders ended up having to follow the same route as cars and trucks.
“The last few days were far from easy. You had to ride very cautiously and pay attention to every rock to avoid leaving the entire under body behind. So I was excited to finally be able to gain more speed and do some more racing”, said the Polish quad rider, who proceeded smoothly, without a significant loss to his fastest rival. Nevertheless, he came across some difficulties.
“I ran over one of the bigger rocks and the floor bent so much it popped out above the wheel. The quad seemed really crooked and I was afraid that the shock absorber was leaking. Fortunately, it wasn’t so bad and I was able to finish the stage”, concluded Wiśniewski.
The stage was conquered by Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli, who overrode Nelson Sanabria and Ignacio Casale. The Chilean has maintained his leading position since the day one and only bad luck could stand on his way to victory. Such situation is not entirely impossible. Even though the final loop will cover only 120 kilometers, the organizers have already announced that the participants will have to cross ca. 30 rivers and streams. It’s easy to make a race-ending mistake while fording, so extra caution is a must.
The statistics are ruthless as well, showing that at least one contestant drops out of the race on the home stretch.
Kamil Wiśniewski sets off on the 14th stage of this year’s Dakar tomorrow at 11:09am CET. The participants will meet their teams at the bivouac in Cordoba to celebrate the end of the challenge. The official closing ceremony and crossing the ramp in the city center will take place at 12:30am CET on Sunday.
Stage 13 results
1. Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli (ARG) 5:55.16
2. Nelson Sanabria (PAR) +3.18
3. Ignacio Casale (CHL) +4.03
12. Kamil Wiśniewski (POL) +27.47
1. Ignacio Casale (CHL) 52:03.39
2. Nicolas Cavigliasso (ARG) +1:37.16
3. Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli (ARG) +2:09.15
13. Kamil Wiśniewski (POL) +10:55.10