Bolivia, January 12: Hero MotoSports team riders C S Santosh and Oriol Mena played it safe in the weather affected sixth day stage of the Dakar Rally.
Despite a troubled ankle owing to an earlier crash, India's Santosh finished the sixth stage at 38th position and overall he stands at 51st place at the end of the first half of the Dakar Rally.
Spaniard Mena continued his solid run to finish the sixth stage at 23rd position and an overall 21st place.
The first part of the sixth stage from Arequipa to La Paz was cancelled owing to bad weather and foggy conditions for the riders. The revised sixth stage was limited only to a 194km of timed section from the originally planned 313km but not before the riders tackled everything from snow, freezing temperature and rain, all this at an altitude of 4800m.
It has been an impressive start for the team upto the end of the first half of the rally, with two very good stages from Santosh, followed by a couple of difficult ones and a positive progress of Dakar rookie Mena, especially in the really tough stage 5.
All in all, it has been a good Dakar so far as the team has been able to fight off, all that the rally has thrown at them so far and stands strong at the half way mark.
"Bolivia has always been the turning point in the Dakar. It was really cold start in the morning and a very long liaison, and then it started to raining making things worse," Santosh said.
"I decided to trade off safety for speed but it doesn't matter as there is still a long way to go into the rally," Mena said.
After a day of rest, the next stage will be held from La Paz to Uyuni.
(With Agency inputs)