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Quinn Cody held a firm lead for almost the entire event. But his 450 Honda would grind to a halt 10 miles short of the finish line today. That would hand the provisional lead to Andy Grider. But it was nail-biting at the finish line as Andy had issues of his own on the stage. When his odometer quit working early, he had to rely on the mileage from of his GPS unit. He would get off course on one portion of the route today and that would earn him a 30 minute penalty.
It was too close to call between Andy and the second rider across the line today, Cameron Steele. When the results were posted, it was Andy with the win by mere seconds over Cameron.
For me, I was 6th overall last night and left the line in that spot this morning. I soon realized that two of the riders in front of me had gone off course and I caught Cameron who was struggling with navigation. That put me 4th on the course. Cameron and I would ride together to the first fuel stop. Later I made a navigation error and lost 12 minutes getting back on track. This time it was Cameron helping me get my bearings, as I had leap frogged a section and he came in from the correct route and got me headed back to pick up the course properly.
I had dropped one position on the course, but was soon back to 4th as that rider got off line also. I could only wave at Quinn as I passed him alongside the road into San Quintin. That put me to 3rd and I crossed the finish line that way. Ned Suesse and Nino Rojas both caught up with me and finished right behind. But my time was good enough for 3rd overall for the event. It is far more than I could have hoped for in my first rally, particularly with so many seasoned navigators around.
Today’s stage win went to local rider Nino Rojas. He dropped some time yesterday, so that put him out of the overall. The same goes for Larry Roeseler who took penalty points yesterday for having GPS tracking issues. He chose to ride along with Anna Cody today. Anna was another rider who suffered mechanical problems close to the finish today. With some help she was able to ride to the finish to take the checkered flag in memory of her friend , the late Jimmy Stocker.
Overall the entire event has to be called a complete success. Everyone had a great time, there was plenty of great tracks to ride. There were a few mechanical breakdowns, but no major injuries for the event. Most everyone seems ready to come back for the next event.