After one day off in La Paz, the Dakar convoy moved towards the Argentinian city of Cordoba on Saturday morning. While the marathon stage was surely long, it allowed the competitors to gain real speed. Kamil Wiśniewski tackled the stage well, and despite some adventures at the finish line in Uyuni, he checked in with 16th time. He also scored second place in the 4×4 quad class.
The participants set off on the 320-kilometer transfer road at the crack of dawn. Next came the SS leading them for 425 km across the high plateau of Altiplano (over 4000m above the sea level). The finish line of the marathon stage was traditionally placed in Uyuni, a city located above the world-famous salt flat, Salar de Uyuni. After six days in hot Peru, the racers had to rapidly adjust to rainy and high-altitude cold weather.
The muddy route caused the Minis of Mikko Hirvonen, Orlando Terranova and Yazeed Al-Rajhi to get seriously stuck. The road conditions affected the quad riders as well. Last year’s third, Pablo Copetti, left the competition with a broken chain. Eight hours of the off-road struggle also took toll on Kamil Wiśniewski.
“I had a few small snags, like broken roadbook or malfunctioning ventilator, which got overheated after I dug into the sand up to my seat. Despite that, my attitude remains positive. A few fixes here and there and tomorrow, it is time for Salta,” briefly concludes the Polish rider who moved up to the 17th position in the general standings.
In the meantime, Rafał Sonik arrived in Poland. The winner of the 2015 Dakar Rally landed in Berlin to be transferred to Zdunowo Hospital in Szczecin. This is where the quad rider will undergo a surgery of the crush fracture he suffered during the 5th SS. “The trip was obviously far from enjoyable. Changes in the cabin pressure and no IV pain meds made my leg hurt much more. It’s much better now that I’m back on the ground”, said the Cracovian.
Stage 7 results
1. Axel Dutrie (FRA) 6:59.04
2. Marcelo Medeiros (BRA) +4.50
3. Ignacio Casale (CHL) +8.58
16. Kamil Wiśniewski (POL) +1:06.28
1. Ignacio Casale (CHL) 26:55.11
2. Alexis Hernandez (PER) +1:01.09
3. Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli (ARG) +1:28.13
17. Kamil Wiśniewski (POL) +7:46.04