Rough night and shortened day challenge racers on day four

Keenleside still at 100 percent completion

Not only were conditions extreme for the riders during day four's ride, but the Simpson Desert continued its onslaught during the night in a way described as "hairy". The wind and dust continued during the night resulting in tents and shelters either being blown down or damaged - with some riders and support crews seeking refuge in their vehicles for the night.

However, the sun rose this morning with clear skies, the wind switched to the South, and the temperature dropped about 20 degrees.

Riders were greeted with a shortened stage of 41km commencing a few kilometres from Poeppel Corner (the junction of Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland borders). Not only was the stage shortened, but riders experienced a tailwind, with a good percentage of the track being flat, limited sand and rock hard! Twenty seven riders completed 100% of the stage - one rider did not start, while two suffered mechanical problems.

The stage was won by Ken Schack-Evans from Yellowrock NSW. Alan Keenleside (Fairlight NSW) remains a clear leader comfortably still at 100 percent of the race completed. He just needs to complete the final stage tomorrow to take out the event honours. Lynton Stretton continues to ride with Keenleside, and maintains a hold on second place, while Jason Dreggs from Manly is third.

It is amazing what a difference a day makes. On previous days, riders were keen to give away their bikes, whereas today, crossing the finishing line they were all smiles and appreciating why they ride.

Where riders are on equal percentage completed, the rider with the fastest time will finish in the higher position.

The final stage into Birdsville will be held tomorrow morning over a distance of around 50km. The riders will be hoping the race organisers have a good night and are feeling generous, and don’t decide to send them over the big sand hills approaching Birdsville, including the iconic Big Red.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alan Keenleside (Aus)100 percent completed
2Lynton Stretton (Aus)94 
3Jason Dreggs (Aus)89 
4Andrew Jamieson (NZl)86 
5Michael Dalton (Aus)85 
6Jeff Rooney (Aus)85 
7Ken Schack-Evans (Aus)84 
8Ben Turner (Aus)79 
9Rodney Edwards (Aus)78 
10Roman Petr (Svk)78 
11Kane Chandler (Aus)78 
12Kerry Richards (Aus)77 
13Al Descantes (Aus)74 
14Katarina Cervikova (Svk)73 
15Billy Johnstone (Aus)73 
16Simon Holland (Aus)72 
17Leon Colbert (Aus)66 
18Freddy Moojen (Aus)63 
19Mark McLaren (Aus)62 
20Ole Kelderman (Aus)62 
21Andrew Hellier (Aus)56 
22John White (NZl)53 
23Mike Brennan (Aus)53 
24David Schutz (Aus)52 
25Rick Neale (Aus)52 
26Elisha Houghton (Aus)50 
27Chris Bain (Aus)48 
28Aaron Branden (Aus)47 
29Andrew Armstrong-Taylor (Aus)44 
30Wayne Chapman (Aus)33 
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