Already well underway, Silk Way Rally has faced the challenge of changing the route: due to increased COVID-19 cases in Mongolia, Silk Way organizers were forced to re-route the race to remain in Russia. “At the reconnaissance, sporting directorate usually considers two or three route options at the same time to use them in case of any force majeure event”, the organizers said. The Rally now continues into its final stages, with Austrian Matthias Walkner in the lead with two stage wins.
The ruthless Altai Mountains terrain has already claimed its first souls: Ross Branch, Yamaha factory rider who has made a spectacular debut in Rally Dakar, retired from the race due to mechanical issues. Deep river crossings nearly cost Andrew Short his Silk Way Rally, too: after drowning his bike, Short only barely salvaged the stage. Currently, KTM is firmly in the lead with Matthias Walkner forging ahead, while Honda’s Franco Caimi is fast on his heels and Skyler Howes is third overall.
“It was really nice, honestly. It was cool to ride with less navigation, because you could see all the tracks ahead and just push a lot. But the river crossings were tricky because the cars and the trucks moved some stones and every river was a big challenge! All in all, I had a good day, I feel confident and the landscape was again spectacular,” Walkner shared.
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