The week-long Balkan Offroad Rallye has started in Romania with more than 100 crews from different countries. On Sunday, the participants had to complete a 15-kilometre prologue, the results of which will be determine start positions of Monday's speed sections. The CFMOTO Thunder Racing Team riders reached the finish of Sunday's special stage but could not avoid incidents. The riders said that the first few kilometres were already a sign of a really tough week ahead.
"I was doing well, no navigational errors, but I made one rollover. There are some damage to my quad, so it will have to be repaired, but I'm feeling pretty good, I didn't hurt myself. I'll have to get used to the mountains again that await me in the coming days," said Adomas Gančierius, who finished third among the quads in the prologue.
Antanas Kanopkinas also successfully completed first kilometres, but the athlete says that it is already possible to foresee that there will be more than one difficult navigational puzzle throughout the rally: "Things are going to be extremely difficult, because some of the roads are simply not visible. I have already seen motorbikes wandering around today. I reached the finish at a safe and reasonably comfortable speed and I'm happy about that - finished sixth, about in the middle, and that was the goal for today."
A. Kanopkinas also said that before the start of the first stage on Monday, only the brake discs need to be replaced, but everything else is working fine - all you need to do is wash the quad and go to the start line.
It's true that although the prologue went as well as the riders wanted, the next and much longer days of racing could be several times more challenging for the riders because of their health. A virus attacked both competitors on arrival in Romania, which, say the athletes, is severely reducing both their stamina and their concentration.
On Sunday, as soon as they got back to the bivouac, the participants left their quads with the team to repair what was necessary and prepare for the next racing days, while they went to rest. Although they are not feeling very good, both members of the CFMOTO Thunder Racing Team are in good spirits and motivated. The men say that this should not hinder them too much.
On Monday, the riders will tackle two speed sections with a total of 188 sporting kilometres. Together with the liaisons from and to bivouac, the athletes will have to cover almost 250 kilometres. The weather in Romania has been good for the participants so far - warm and dry, although rain has been pouring down on the surrounding area all last week.