It's been a long old day on the steppe, made to feel even longer for those bombarded by torrents of rain. At one point the downpour became so heavy we were forced to move HS5 to higher ground.
The day started so well for Sam Jones didn't pan out as well as could be hoped after she lost her Spot Tracker while taking what should've been a short cut across the hills before HS7.
The rules dictate she could not advance until being reunited with her tracker and 12 riders overtook her while she was waiting for a support vehicle to retrieve the missing tech. To add insult to injury she will have to carry a one hour time penalty for outside assistance.
Penalties will be served at HS 11 & HS23
It'll be a disappointment for Sam who's gamble of camping on the steppe last night very nearly paid big dividends as she spent much of the day half a station ahead. The setback shouldn't prove too injurious as it's hard to keep a good rider down.
The atmosphere at HS7 tonight should be pretty competitive with Sam joined by countryman Brent the Americans she has been battling for the past two days (Mary, Lisa, Barbara, Bonnie, & Madison) and a bevvy of Brits; Jamie Peel, Chris Maude, Catherine Stott & Rob Skinner. Jamie and Chris were of course a pair Charles Van Wyk predicted as being contenders at the start.
There has been more than a fair share of thrills and spills further back in the field too, Roisin McCourt deserves an honorable mention for literally making her own path through a bog on the way to HS5.
Another rider having trouble on the tough stretch between HS4 & HS5 was Mikael Eriksson who was thrown from his mount three times before opting to pass his reins to countryman Per while trudging stoically behind.
We've also had our first retirement with Sarah Cuthbertson having to pull out with an ankle injury caused from lost stirrups.
The full day 2 leaderboard can be found here
All image rights reserved, please give us a shout if you want to use any of these pictures.