Story by Ian Groat and Pics by Jay Groat
It’s that time of the year again when history on wheels and the sounds of long forgotten era race bikes will fill the air. Mick Grant’s touring team of British champions have been coming for a sunshine tour around South Africa’s race tracks for nearly a decade and this year his visiting team of former champions and friends will be out on the tarmac once again.
The big news is the participation by Norton Motorcycle Ltd, from the UK. They will be sending a selection of famous Norton race bikes to the event for this special day. Owner and CEO of the re-incarnated Norton motorcycle company, Stuart Garner, who will be there as well, says this is because South Africa played a unique part in the history of Norton motorcycles, and will always have a place in the future plans for the famous Marque. “After all,” says Garner, “South Africa was the breeding ground of so many famous Norton riders, with men like Jim Redman, Gary Hocking, Paddy Driver, and many, many more learning their craft on Norton’s and then arriving in Europe and successfully taking on the world’s best. We want to celebrate that, and what better way than by taking part in the wonderful event put on every year by Zwartkops?”
SANRAL with assistance of the Metro Police are setting up Illegal roadblocks, forcing people to register for E-tags.
For the ETOLL system to work SANRAL needs 78% compliance.
On Tuesday of the +-900 000 cases of vehicles passing through the William Nicol plaza only +- 1300 cars were E-tag registered.
Don’t be scared, they can’t force you to do anything.
If you do get pulled over in a roadblock as described above, please call:
the “Justice Project of South Africa” on 087 809 0399.
Alert them of the roadblock and they will send some personnel to shut the Roadblock down.
Alliance against urban tolling statement at 5pm yesterday reported that their in-situ electronic sensors confirm 985,322 vehicles passed through William Nicol gantry, and only 1,339 of them were SANRAL registered with an e-tag.
This is a massive setback for SANRAL. On day one at one toll gate alone, they now have to send out almost a million accounts.
The system is close to collapsing folks.
Lets persist to resist!
Sunday 12th January:
It was the first day of the marathon stage, Riaan finished 11th on the stage just 12 minutes 15 seconds behind stage winner Juan Barreda, improving his overall position again to 13th. Riaan said the stage was not too technical, the roads were tight and twisty and in good condition. The last 20 Kilometers were muddy and in they rode up a river. He spent most of the day riding behind Olivier pain, cleverly ensuring that he didn’t make any navigational mistakes. The entire stage was at high altitude and they will slept at 3500m,
Juan Barreda won the stage 4 minutes and 3 seconds ahead of KTM Red Bull Factory rider Marc Coma. Kuba Pryzgonski finished 5TH and Jordi Viladoms in 10th, moving him 3rd overall.
Monday 13th January: Unyuni to Calama
Liaison section: 24 km Special stage: 462 km Liasion section: 215 km
Today we crossed the Andes and the border into Chile, it was also the second half of the second marathon stage. Broadlink KTM’s Riaan van Niekerk rode another blinder of a day finishing the stage in 7th today, proving that he has the pace to stay with the world’s best rally riders. He was not affected by the altitude as much as some of the others but still suffered from a headache and some nausea, throughout the stage. By CP1 he was laying second overall just 48 seconds behind stage leader Cyril Despres. Riaan explained that the first section of the race suited him down to the ground, it was rough and bumpy, where the latter half of the 462 km stage was much faster and he rode at a more cautious pace to ensure the arrival at Calama without any incidences.
The bivouac we are in at the moment is a living hell, it is situated in the middle of nowhere, in the sand and it is always windy. There is no escape from the fine dust and sand and you have to wear goggles when you walk around. The riders are weary, the second marathon stage has taken it’s toll. Marc coma has been a bit sick and has lost his voice at the moment, he is still controlling the race at the moment with a 38 minute and 8 second lead over danger man Barreda. Alain Duclos lost some 35 minutes this morning due to a mechanical issue, securing Jordi Viladoms’s spot on the podium for now. The stages in Chile are going to be fast and dusty, with lot’s of tricky navigation, Riaan will stay focused and concentrate on riding smoothly and not making costly navigational errors
Brett Cummings finished in 29th today, he suffered a crash and has hurt his leg and will go for a few stitches under his eye. He is tired but will be ready for tomorrow.
Cyril despres won the stage, 2 minutes and 9 seconds ahead of Juan Barreda on the Honda. Marc Coma finished 3rd just 2 minutes 15 seconds off the leader.
Tuesday 14th January: Calama to Iqueque
Liaison section: 37 km Special stage: 422 km
The 2014 Dakar will reach its most northern point in Iqueque, where competitors will see the ocean for the first time. Riders will once again experience the Atacama dunes after the first part of the special stage. Dune specialists will be in their element with 150 kilometers of dunes. The finish will take the competitors down a massive dune with a 3 kilometer descent into the bivouac.
Sound Clips : Stage 8
Riaan van Niekerk - http://goo.gl/MZ9ue9
Darryl Curtis - http://goo.gl/Y7GrAI