The leading pack has shrunk to 7 riders, the main pack has swollen to 20, there was a muddy bog for some, another involuntary dismount and one more withdrawal. Here’s the Day 5 race report... For race positions see the Day 5 Leaderboard.
The front runners made it to Horse Station 19 but Mary Lee and Catherine Stott have fallen a leg behind today and find themselves at 18 overnight.
11 km out of station 16 Mary Lee came off her horse. Unfortunately she couldn’t catch it before it ran back to its home station but Mary is clearly determined to stay with the leaders. She went back to the station and was eventually reunited with her tack and picked herself a new horse. Tackling the same ground again, including a mountain pass, on her own must have been tough but even though she lost at least 2 hours she remains in contention.
Catherine Stott had been ill for a few days, showing proper adventuring grit to carry on riding so fast but today she was forced to take a break at station 17. After a rest and some much needed food and drink she recovered well and joins Mary at station 18 tonight on the heels of the leading 7.
All the riders at the sharp end had been clear of any pending penalties which become increasingly significant as the race progresses. That changed today when Brent Albuino received a veterinary penalty meaning he’ll have to sit out 2 hours of racing at 23; the next penalty station. That close to the finish line two hours will feel like a long time...
In the middle of the field Chris Berkers had a stormer. She rode four legs in one day from station 12 to 16, propelling herself into the next group of riders with an outstanding shift in the saddle.
Courtney Davis has also been singled out for putting in an excellent performance today. She rode most of the day on her own and broke her camel back water carrier so she’s improvised well and kept the speed up to reach station 17, just two legs behind the leaders.
In other news Luke Berry, who was evacuated from the course on Day 2 for medical treatment after a fall, was reunited with the Household Cavalry team today and will support them from the ‘Blood Wagon’ that picks up riders when they retire from the race. That car is manned by 2013 Mongol Derby veteran Chloe Phillips-Harris who sent this update earlier today:
“Passed the Cavalry today, Simon Lukas looks good, troops on Struggle Street.”
There was also one withdrawal today, Danish rider Anna Chistina De Jonquieres decided to pull out, bringing the number of withdrawals so far to eight.
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