Erinn Klein rolls in to take 2nd place after a hard-fought desert battle.
While Sarah Hammond may have ended up winning the 2018 Race to the Rock by a considerable margin, behind her the race for 2nd place has been a tantalisingly hard-fought contest.
The day after Sarah rolled into the finish at Yulara, Erinn Klein and Nick Skarajew were just entering the infamously difficult section of route between Oodnadatta and Finke; a 290km slog through remote desert.
The lead swapped multiple times as the two battled through the sand, but Erinn eventually pulled out a lead when he passed straight through Finke in the dead of night, without resupplying. Nick chose to camp out and wait for the store to open in order to tackle the next 150km stretch, and the short layover was to prove pivotal.
The Oodnadatta Road
“Did get a few hours to chat with Erinn over the past few days who's been looking crazy strong, and putting in killer averages,’ Nick would later tell the Race to the Rock team. “He made the decision to not wait around in Finke, which has paid off.”
By the time Erinn completed all of the off-road sections of the route, and rolled onto the final 80km stretch of tarmac to the finish, his lead over Nick had gone out to 140km. In the early hours of Tuesday evening, he too rolled into Yulara to claim 2nd place.
Nick has 170km left to ride, and if he’s planning on doing it all in one stint, should arrive in the early hours of tomorrow to claim 3rd. 250km behind Nick is Emma Flukes, who looks set to become the fourth and final finisher of this truly extraordinary race.
Keep watching the dots, and get behind the riders as they battle to the finish via the Race to the Rock Instagram and Facebook feed.