Despite losing one of their three riders – Adrian Metge – to a right shin injury, Sherco-TVS' remaining two riders have steadily made gains as they made their way through the third special stage of the Dakar Rally.
The 2018 Dakar Rally continued to throw up challenges for the riders as they made their way through dunes that have been described as some of the toughest that have featured in any of the previous editions of the rally raid. The 502km run that went from Pisco in Peru to San Juan de Marcona included a 295km timed special stage.
Sherco-TVS riders Joan Pedrero and Aravind KP were placed 20th and 29th overall at the end of the stage in an impressive display of consistent riding that has seen them steadily make their way up the leader board.
However, the rally is far from over with two more stages left in Peru before the field crosses over into Bolivia and Argentina for the remaining nine. There will also be one rest day in La Paz.
While Pedrero's performance was somewhat expected due to his experience, Aravind's improvement as compared to a year ago has been nothing short of outstanding. Gone is the uncertainty of tackling an event like the Dakar Rally and is replaced by a sense of maturity that has come about as a result of continued international exposure in rallies leading up to the South American spectacular.
Aravind's riding has reflected this maturity when seen from up close, including when dealing with other riders around him. He did not lose any momentum, which is extremely crucial in the dune sections of the stages where getting stuck or missing a waypoint can cost a lot of time.
Up till now, Aravind has managed to stay within striking distance of four or five riders ahead of him. Hopefully that will translate into some gains by the time the rally hits the mountains in Bolivia and the flatter terrain in Argentina.