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Stage 6: As tourists in the Andes

Laia Sanz and Marc Guasch used the cancelled stage to take photos and admire the spectacular Andean scenery. The Spanish champion benefited from an unexpected day of rest for her damaged hand.
After the cancellation of the sixth stage, which was to be between Fiambalá and Copiapó, due to excessive snowfalls on the summits and poor conditions on the ground, Laia Sanz and Marc Guasch travelled the cancelled route, as did all the other competitors.

It was a very different day for everyone, without the physical demands of the race, but lacking the calm of a rest day. Without doubt, this obligatory pause has been a very good thing for last year’s Dakar Women’s Champion, who had an extra day for her hand to recover after being injured in the fourth stage of the rally. “What is certain is that another day of rest can’t have been bad for my hand. It’s a bit better and I don’t think it will be a problem for the rest of the race”, she said.

Relaxed and easy, the Gas Gas riders took advantage of the route to take photographs with the background landscape at an altitude of over 4,000 metres. “Today we felt like tourists; we stopped to look at the scenery and take photos. After five pretty tough days, it’s no bad thing to have a bit of a break. I’d be happier if I hadn’t been penalised in the third stage and punctured the tank in the fourth, but there’s nothing to do about that now”.

As for the weather conditions, the Spanish girl said they had not seen anything extraordinary on their route: “When we got to the ridge it didn’t seem as snowy and icy as we had expected, but it is quite possible that earlier, first thing in the morning, it was dangerous. I don’t know because I didn’t see what the ground was like for the special”.

Tomorrow the race continues with the fearsome Copiapó - Copiapó loop, 444 kilometres of time trial, which comes before the rest stage. Laia Sanz will start in 55th place in the general classification and Marc Guasch in 57th.


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