With just one week to go before the much-anticipated Rally Andalucía, the organisers had to
cancel it due to the extremely high risk of fires, but CFMOTO Thunder Racing Team made an
instant decision to start the Rally Albania and are already setting a fast pace there. The first
day of racing on Sunday provided a full range of experiences for the participants and
reminded them that racing in the mountains is an incredible challenge.
On Sunday, the athletes had 358 kilometers to cover, 240 of which were speed sections.
While this may seem like an average day in Dakar Rally terms, the athletes pointed out that
even the liaisons between the bivouac and the start/finish are on mountain roads, which
also require concentration and fatigue.
Snow and heat on the same day
Antanas Kanopkinas, who won in last years Rally Albania quad category, said after the first
day that he had already had some adventures: I got a bit lost in one place, so I rode an
extra ten kilometers. In the mountains you should calculate distances differently, so it's a
lot, but the most important thing is that we reached the finish, and Albania gave us
everything on the first days.
The athlete said that he had to ride over a wide range of surfaces, from asphalt and gravel
to large rocks and crushed stone. There were also extremely different natural elements,
such as rain and snow and 35 degree heat.
It was a tough first day, but it's time to recover in the evening, go to bed early and start
fighting again tomorrow; summed up A. Kanopkinas on Sunday. The racer is third in the
quad standings after day one.
Another CFMOTO Thunder Racing Team rider, Adomas Gančierius, who is second in the
quad standings after the first day, also said that the day was not easy.
The first day was, I would say, hell in paradise. Its a paradise because of the scenery, but
because of the heat it's a real hell. It was already over thirty degrees at six in the morning,
and in the mountains there is no wind in some places, so it feels like there is no oxygen at
all. It's very exhausting, quot; said A. Gančierius.
The quad rider said that despite the challenges by nature itself, the day was fun and without
any losses or breakdowns. There was one minor navigational error, but this did not prevent
the second place.
On Monday, the riders will start and finish in the same bivouac on a 190-kilometre looping
stage. The route for the second day of the race will take in the northern part of Albania,
near the borders of Montenegro and Serbia.