The new 48h Chrono format works well for Martin Macik Jr. and his crew so far. Together with navigator Frantisek Tomasek and mechanic David Svanda, they are in first place after the first half of the stage. They are second in the overall standings, the official results will be known after the full stage is completed on the 12th of January.

Refuelling in the desert and no mechanics in sight

During the 48h Chrono Stage, which includes two race days and is 549 km long in total, several special features await the competitors. Along the way they will pass a total of 7 bivouacs with a fixed time when they close and it’s no longer possible to leave them. In the last bivouac they stop at, they have to refuel and until the two-day event is over, Cenda won’t be getting any service. “The only mechanic Cenda will see now is me. If any servicing is needed, we will have to do it ourselves,” explained David Svanda before the start of the stage.

Sand, dust and dunes

The entire stage goes through the Empty Quarter, one of the largest deserts in the world. The dunes, which can reach heights of up to 250 m, are more than plenty for the orange crew to experience. “The dunes are not bad news for us at all, as we enjoy them as much as the truck does. I am prepared for navigating in the sand and dust, so I believe that we will not get lost and will finish the whole stage without any major problems”, comments on the outlook for the next two days Frantisek Tomasek.

A special stage has a special ending

“We were researching the route and planning how we are going to do it. It’s going to be tricky and almost anything can happen. The stage looks to be tough and challenging, just like the whole Dakar this year. It’s a lot of kilometres in the desert and we have to arrive at each bivouac along the route at a certain time or it will close and we won’t be able to continue. Of course, we want to go as far as possible on the first day”, Martin Macik Jr. described the plan before they hit the track.

A little information from the desert

The plan was therefore clear: to get as far as possible on the first day and preferably as quickly as possible. According to the available information, it worked out and Martin Macik Jr., Frantisek Tomasek and David Svanda arrived in bivouac C in first place. “As far as we know, Cenda and the crew are fine in the bivouac where they will spend the night. Judging by the times and the map, they have had an extremely challenging ride today, so we will see how well they do tomorrow.”, sums up the latest information, which is very scarce due to the lack of signal in the desert, team manager Martin Pabiska.

Free day in Riyadh

After the end of the 48h Chrono there will be a day off for all competitors. “Once we actually finish the double stage, we still have to get to Riyadh with Cenda, where we will have a day off. For now, it looks like we’ll load Cenda on the trailer after the service and ride with the rest of the team or just fly with our backpacks on the plane. We’ll see how it works out, now we’re concentrating on finishing the stage and setting the best time possible,” outlined yesterday the plans of the MM Technology team Martin Macik Jr.