Dakar 2018 | A day off

My stories / 26. February 2018

During the Dakar, there can be two kinds of situations when the riders get a day off. The first kind is when such a day is announced at the beginning of the races, in which case everyone is counting on it and it is scheduled in the program. The second kind is an “involuntary” day off when the organizers cancel one of the stages, most commonly due to bad weather.

“For a mechanic, this is certainly not a day off. He has to take apart the whole bike and then reassemble it again which takes him the whole day. So in his case, we should be talking about a day of work.”

For Števo, this day means that he does not have to set his alarm to 3 am the night before to make sure he makes it to the start in time but rather he gets to sleep in.

“For me, it mainly brings some mental peace because I don’t have to stress about the possibility of oversleeping in the morning. I can really relax, recharge and get a good night sleep.”

Števo and the rest of the team always prepare for the next ride right after the completion of each stage. Their program for the day off is defined by one word only – relaxation.

“We were laughing in the afternoon about having that day off because we had nothing to do; for us it was redundant. We prepared everything in advance so this day went really slow for us.”

After completion of the eighth stage, Števo and his team learned that the ninth one was cancelled and they had another day off in front of them. This time it was unplanned. They had to make a decision whether to stay in Tupiza, Bolivia for the night or whether, after the day-long marathon, Števo should get back on his bike and ride another 520 kilometres into Salta.

“We decided to go right away. It was a mental boost for me because I knew that if I fell asleep in Tupiza, I would not have to get up in the morning. That was the main reason I was willing to ride the bike until 1 a.m. even after the whole day of racing.

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