High temperatures, complex terrain mark Taklimakan Rally 1st stage-Xinhua

High temperatures, complex terrain mark Taklimakan Rally 1st stage

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-05-21 22:51:30

URUMQI, May 21 (Xinhua) -- The 2024 Taklimakan Rally kicked off its first special stage (SS1) on Tuesday, with notable racers such as Neels Theric and Han Wei successfully completing the stage.

The special stage covers a distance of over 150 kilometers. Competitors navigate through diverse terrain in sweltering heat. Unlike last year, this year's participants encountered difficulties shortly after starting.

France's Theric showcased an impressive performance. Starting third in the morning, he finished with a clear lead.

Despite his success, the 26-year-old acknowledged the stage's difficulty, comparing it to the Dakar Rally.

"Shortly after starting, my bike's navigation system malfunctioned," said Theric. "The sand was very soft, and the temperature was high. I fell several times but fortunately wasn't injured."

In the car category, Han was the first to reach the finish line. He noted the complexity of the stage's terrain, which included soft sand and silt.

"The organizers had told us the difficulty wasn't high, but it turned out to be very challenging," Han joked. "Everyone who finished did a great job."

Competitors will continue their journey on Wednesday, tackling the infamous "Devil's Stage" -- N39. In 2019, this stage's soft sand and dense pits trapped dozens of vehicles.