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Stage 12: Laia Sanz withstands the harshness of the Dakar

She finished the double marathon day in 52nd place in spite of being physically exhausted. Laia spent a bad night sleeping on the ground, but she surpassed all expectations in another tough day for the bikes.
Laia Sanz came through the trial by fire in the Dakar and reached the finishing line of the 12th stage (Arequipa - Nasca) in a commendable 52nd place. Neither her exhaustion after yesterday’s viciously hard marathon stage, nor the mechanical demands to which the bike was subjected on two consecutive specials with no possibility of repairs, prevented the only girl still in the race from fulfilling all that was demanded from her.

The bike competitors had to withstand an extremely hard special yesterday, with two difficult fords and a long and shattering stretch of “fesh fesh”. And to end with, a rather special camp awaited them in the evening, where no assistance was allowed in. As if that was not enough, Laia Sanz had to spend the night on the ground, as did the other riders, without tent or sleeping bag and in very cold conditions: “I had an awful night. The organisation gave us a poncho so that we could wrap up a bit, but not even that was any good. Every half-hour I woke up with the cold and this morning I got up absolutely knackered”.

The Gas Gas rider gathered strength from weakness and came through the trial, displaying courage and endurance: “There was nothing for it but to forget the tiredness, get going and set my mind on facing the next hard stage. And that’s what I did. The Dakar is like that, and you only get to the end by standing up to the tough conditions that face you in this trial”.

At the end of the special, which was shortened by 50 kilometres because of the deteriorated condition of the land following the heavy rains this week in the Nasca region, Laia crossed the finishing line in 52nd position. In the general she dropped one place and is now 41st.


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