1530hrs, 09 November, 2021

Competitor comments after Stage 3: Abu Dhabi Sports Council


42        Adrien Van Beveren (FRA)

“A good day being pushed by Daniel and Matthias. It was cool to ride together and take turns to open up the track. Towards the end it was like motocross.”

52        Matthias Walkner (AUT)

“It was another nice day in the desert and everything went well. The navigation was good. I am now starting to get a bit tired, but it’s just two more days to go. Yes, I am happy with everything so far.”

11        Daniel Sanders (AUS)

“I was in a really good rhythm this morning and I caught the guys up front before the refuelling. The bike felt good, and I did not make any navigational mistakes. We rode together, but did not push too much away from each other.

“I am in a really good position right now with the way the race is going, but let’s wait and see how it plays out tomorrow. But I am happy overall.”

27        Joaquim Rodrigues

“Today was easier and better, but I am suffering with a sickness which makes me very tired. My goal now is to finish the rally.”

29        Andrew Short (USA)

“Stage 3 was much easier with more rolling dunes instead of the steep ones. I have been struggling though as I am not confident with the big dunes. The bike is ready for Dakar and I am trying to stay safe for that.”

26        Konrad Dabrowski (POL)

“It wasn’t very good for me today as I had no rear brake, and with so many drops I had to back off on the power. It was a good training ride and I have finished the stage with a lot more experience.”

20        Aaron Mare (ZAF)

“After 10 kms I had no rear brake. I tried to fix it, and wasted maybe 30 minutes. After that I went slow.

“Michael caught me after refueling and we rode together for the rest of the stage. It was nice to ride with a friend, so that I didn’t have too many dangers.”

21        Sultan Al Balooshi (UAE)

“I am alone in the rally. My brother [Mohammed] is not with me. But today was a bit easier. Alhamdullilah I brought the bike to the finish, and that’s important.”

112      Michael Docherty (ZAF)

“This is my first-ever cross country rally, so this is all new for me. But, I’m just loving every second out there and this is the most fun I’ve ever had riding a dirt bike.”

116      Jacob Argubright (USA)

“Today was good. I learned to surf the dunes better. I was wheeling more and just flowing. It was a very easy and uneventful stage.”

121      Makis Rees-Stravos (GBR)

“The bike is running well, apart from the roadbook thread which broke at 14 kms. I had to follow the tracks. There were very big dunes towards the end. I am feeling tired after the demands of each stage.”

115      Thomas Kongshoj (DEN)

“Today was good with no sickness that I had yesterday. It was a much better terrain. This is my first desert rally. At home in Denmark, I race on snow and ice, which is very different.”

102      Manuel Andujar (ARG)

“It’s too hot, but it’s not a problem. I was pushing the last 10 kms and my bike’s temperature went up 100 degrees. It’s a really fun stage with a lot of big dunes, but a pretty good day for me.”

101      Rafal Sonik (POL)

“Today I had 15 litres fuel too much, which made the bike a little bit too heavy to keep up with Manuel. But, nevertheless it’s another great stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, and I have to be happy with that.

“The fight continues. Manuel is a top contender to win Dakar 2022 as well, and he’s 30 years younger than me. So, I have to respect the youth connected with the quality of a rider who has very good skills.” 

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