Dakar Stage 4 Update “Nasca to Arequipa”

Beaule Stage 4 1w

St. Bruno, QC, January 8, 2013 – A bit of drama tonight for Patrick and the Aldo Racing/KTM Canada team. After another stellar timed special stage today, finishing in 57th position, Pat’s engine developed a serious mechanical problem at the beginning of the 429 km liaison section to Arequipa.

As of this moment 21:30 EST, Pat is currently still out on the 400km liaison, being towed (yes TOWED for 400 kms) by a fellow Italian rider who is himself unfortunately out of the race.

Pat was very well prepared and brought every spare part imaginable except for a complete spare engine (the cost of these complete engines is extremely high), so the team had to scour the bivouac searching for a spare engine to “borrow” for the balance of the event.

Thankfully, the team was able to source a complete spare engine from a Dutch team – the engine was one of two spares for two of their riders who unfortunately withdrew due to injuries. This engine is still on the liaison on the Dutch team’s support truck, and will arrive in the bivouac later tonight.

JF Charlot (the Aldo Racing/KTM Canada Team Mechanic) has his work cut out for him, and Patrick will have to shake off a very long, tiring and stressful liaison section to resume fresh tomorrow!

Pat is currently in 52nd position in the overall standings after four stages.

As for Don Hatton, his race is over after last night’s accident:

Just had a call from Paul Green … and …unfortunately it is the end of the rally for Don. The ASO medical car has picked Don up. Apparently he is physically ok. His bike sustained a lot of damage when he was hit by the truck, but he managed to piece it together and inch towards the end of the special. However, at approx. 4 kms from the end of the special he had insurmountable mechanical problems and was not able to get the bike running. Don is headed back to the biouvac with ASO at this moment. Can’t wait to talk to him to make sure he is ok. Our last conversation was via someones satellite phone at about 5:20 pm(our time)- 12 kms from the end of the section and he was not in such good shape. He was having trouble talking and wasn’t making much sense. I was not sure at that point what was going to happen. He had been out on the course for close to 12 hours. He had no way of contacting anyone from his team and I’m sure mine was the only number he could remember to call on the sat phone.

Luckily, after trying to get ahold of Llel, Simon or Paul, I was able to contact Simon Pavey’s wife Linley who in turn got ahold of Simon and Paul. Simon and Paul went to ASO. ASO called Paris. Paris called Don on his iritrack. By this time it was dark, Don had no navigation, no lights and the bike was broken and buried.

He told ASO he was continuing on and did not need assistance. He managed to struggle to the 4km mark, but the bike just quit and he could not get it going. That is all I know at this point. I am sure Don is very disappointed!

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