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‘I am absolutely sure we were on the right track according to the roadbook and the compass. We didn’t make a mistake in navigation. With a group of four to five riders we have been looking for the waypoint for at least 15 minutes. Once I rode up a hill and looked on the other side, I saw people. I rode their way and all of a sudden the arrow was right again.’

Verhoeven was not really worried about the result. ‘You know this is the risk when you are the second one to start. There are no tracks, you have to do it all by yourself. Riders behind you take the advantage. They simply follow the tracks.’ In this case it was Barreda who took the honors of winning the second stage, a loop of 242 km around the bivouac of Pisco. 

It was not an easy stage, according to Verhoeven. ‘I think we all expected it to be easier, as it was only the first real stage. But it was pretty difficult. I had to work really hard. For the bike it wasn’t a problem. My Yamaha YZ450 is doing great. But you had to be really careful in riding and looking what was ahead of you. With the sun high and bright it was difficult to see differences in height. You could easily overlook a big hole.’



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