Spanish rider Hernandez enjoys in Taklimakan Rally

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-29 01:32:46|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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URUMQI, China, May 28 (Xinhua) -- China's Taklimakan Rally, which was inaugurated in 2005, has emerged as a rising competition that has attracted Spanish rider Armand Monleon Hernandez since 2015.

The 32-year-old enduro rider was invited by his friend, also the fellow teammate Zhao Hongyi in 2015 when he decided to start a new chapter of his career from China -- riding in a rally.

Taklimakan Desert, the world second largest drifting desert, gave Hernandez ensuing hard challenges in his debut.

"Although I had competed enduros around the world several years before, it still shocked me when I first came to here," the Spanish rider said, who once made so many mistakes that took him to the wrong routes in desert due to lack of experience.

The 2019 Taklimakan Rally started on May 20 in the city of Aksu, located at the extreme west of China. Competitors with cars, trucks, motorbikes and ATVs are crossing China's Xinjiang on a 5,000km route, divided in nine stages and composed by 50 percent of sands and crossing dunes.

Unique places like Taklamakan and Gobi deserts, Kulun mountains, steppes of Central Asia, are crossed by the competitors in a strong taste of adventure. The bravest will be satisfied by having crossed a still unknown area where the high heat can weak bodies and racing vehicles.

It is unavoidable to compare Taklimakan with world-class Dakar for Hernandez, who had triumphed in Taklimakan Rally three times in a row and once ranked 10th in 2016 Dakar rally.

"There are no obvious differences between the two. You must make choices in the complicated environments by yourself in grueling rallies," he said, appreciating the opportunities he has received, considering the two rallies equally important in his career.

With three stages still to go in the ongoing 2019 Taklimakan Rally, the rider of KTMR2R Star has already dominated the motorcycles group, leaving his rivals far behind.

"I have seen a great improvement of logistic services, and many Chinese riders impress me a lot," he praised.

Although the level of Taklimakan Rally is on the rise, Hernandez said it still has growing sides to do as there are only two foreign high-level racers this year.

"If you want to organize a better one, you must have more outstanding racers to improve the whole competitive level, no matter where they are from," Hernandez said.