It is one of the toughest editions of all time. The riders themselves have said it, as has the RAID's sporting director, or rather Marc Coma. There have already been a number of crashes and dramatic twists after just four stages, the latest involving Sam Sunderland.
In Tuesday's special, which saw riders completing the San Juan de Marcona ring, the current champion suffered a crash in the final stages, apparently sustaining a lumbar compression fracture in the incident. The rider was immediately picked up by helicopter and transported to the bivouac to be examined by medical staff.
It is unlikely he will be able to return to his KTM for the remainder of the RAID, one which he was leading up until yesterday evening.