1345hrs, 10 November, 2021

Competitor news and comments on Abu Dhabi Aviation Stage 4


14        Sebastian Buhler (DEU)

Fell heavily on the stage and was evacuated by helicopter to Madinat Zayed Hospital with a leg injury. Ross Branch (BWA) and Aaron Mare (ZAF) had stopped to assist and set off the alarm.

52        Matthias Walkner (AUT)

“A super nice stage, and I managed to catch Daniel (Sanders) at around 100 kms. So, we rode together and pushed. I hope I am not fastest because I do not want to open the track tomorrow. My strategy is to do my best.”

11        Daniel Sanders (AUS)

“The opening today was surprisingly good, but I made a little mistake at the first check. Today was a fast, flowing stage, and when Matthias (Walkner) caught me, we pushed on with a good pace.”

27        Joaquim Rodrigues (PRT)

“Adrien (Van Beveren) caught me, and I just stuck with him. His riding in the dunes is really, really fast and I just took advantage of that and followed him. Tomorrow the goal is to bring the bike home safe.”

42        Adrien Van Beveren (FRA)

“I started a bit behind and I honestly tried to close the gap on the leaders. Before the refuelling I think I was really fast on the sand, and after that I just paced myself.

“The tracks were big and there were not so many opportunities to close the gap. But I am feeling happy because my feeling on the bike is back to top level.

“Our sport is really crazy and it’s hard to explain it to someone who does not do it. It gives me huge emotions to ride at that speed. It’s a big risk, but it’s so good when you take it.”

16        Ross Branch (BWA)

“I was really sad to miss yesterday’s leg because the dunes have been so much fun. So today I went out and had some fun. But unfortunately, we came across Sebastian (Buhler), who had a big crash. My thoughts and wishes are with him and the team, and wish him a speedy recovery.

“After that we caught up with all the South African riders and we just had so much fun the last couple of kilometres. Yeah, it’s great to be back on the bike and finish in one piece.”

26        Konrad Dabrowski (POL)

“This has been my best stage so far overall. I lost some time at around 158 kms when I went to assist Seb Buhler. After that I took a while to refocus and regain the rhythm.”

112      Michael Docherty (ZAF)

“I had a few navigation errors. I am not used to looking down and riding, and it was a bit of a strain with the glare. But after that it was great. I guess it’s all about learning, but overall it was a lot of fun.”

21        Sultan Al Balooshi (UAE)

“Today was a great stage. It was nice and fast, so it was good.”

5          David McBride (GBR)

“It’s been a very good day and I took it easy riding at my own pace. I was staying safe in order to finish tomorrow.”

20        Aaron Mare (ZAF)

“It was a good day, apart from the injured Sebastian at 180 kms. I stopped to assist and had issues getting a signal. It was good that we had a satellite phone. The rescue arrived quickly.

“When I was back on the bike, I eased off the pace to stay safe. I had a few navigation issues towards the end.”

116      Jacob Argubright (USA)

“It was fast and there were so many super huge dunes like yesterday. I felt good, I pushed and I actually got lost once which was pretty cool and I had to do some thinking. I had to backtrack a little bit to find my way back. So it was good to have to think a bit.”

103      Abdulaziz Ahli (UAE)

“I lost my gears, five and six, and had to make do with what I had. It took some adjusting to, but in the end, I got to the finish, which is what it’s all about. But it was a very tough stage.”

48        David Mabbs (GBR)

“Surprisingly a good day, and I never fell off once (chuckle, chuckle). It was a good flowing stage, but on the sabkha I took a hammering. My hands are sore, but the bike is good.”

19        Mishal Al Ghuneim (SAU)

It was an excellent, nice flowing ride with a nice mix of surface. Since Day 2, I feel I am getting the hang of riding on sand.”

115      Thomas Kongshoj (DEN)

“This day was my best day on the bike, but I had a crash and had an issue with the ‘camel pack’, so maybe the result is not so good. But, it was so nice, so nice, because I got the best feeling from the bike which is the first time I’m riding it.”

121      Makis Rees-Stravos (GBR)

“It was a really good day, with a slow start section up to the refuelling. Then in the final stages, I had a good fast race with Mishal.”

101      Rafal Sonik (POL)

“Today was not the longest stage, but it was very tough. I started behind Manuel (Andujar),