10:15am – Quinn Cody has his best day yet. Over 555 k of special stage and nearly 7 hours of riding he drops just 15 minutes from the leaders to finish the day again in 5th position. For the overall Coma bests Despres for the day. Despres lead most of the day with Coma stalking just a couple of minutes back. It looks like Coma wants to put a firm stamp on his Dakar win by showing that even when he is ahead, he can still beat Despres for the day. Coming in next were Rodriguez and Chaleco. Cody finished just 5 minutes behind former stage winner Chaleco for the day.
As it looks right now with just the top few riders in Cody will probably continue in his 9th overall position. Street is still progressing in 17th position, with a short part of the stage left to complete.
7:00am – The last big stage of the 2011 Dakar is underway. 555k will be the distance of special 12. Despres is out to the early lead, having no choice but to go all out in an attempt to pull away from Marc Coma. But Coma is following steady just 2 minutes back. Behind the factory KTM duo is Rodrigues, Chaleco and Quinn Cody. Again it looks like Quinn has really gotten into his stride and showing that he is truely a world-class desert racer. Quinn is nearly 30 minutes back of Faria in the overall classification, so it will take some big shake up for him to move up from his current 9th overall position.
If you read Jonah Street’s Blog yesterday (Cycle World Blog), you know that he is pretty beat up after hitting the gas tank in the road two days ago. He is really just on track to make it to the finish now, as any chance of a top result is out and his wrists are pretty sore. Today he is running in 17th on the stage.
Our pictured rider, Mathieu Serrradori of France is in 22nd position after yesterdays stage. I have also been following the progress of the top female rider, Lalia Sanz of France. As of last night she is 42nd overall. She is riding with former champion Jordi Acarons. Lalia is the 8 time (?) world female trials champion.
|4||003||LOPEZ CONTARDO (CHL)||APRILIA||006:52:45||00:10:03||00:00:00|
|8||010||PEDRERO GARCIA (ESP)||KTM||007:06:01||00:23:19||00:00:00|
|15||018||FARRES GUELL (ESP)||APRILIA||007:22:35||00:39:53||00:00:00|
|50||044||SANZ PLA-GILIBERT (ESP)||HONDA||009:02:59||02:20:17||00:00:00|
|51||042||ARCARONS ARMENTERAS (ESP)||HONDA||009:02:59||02:20:17||00:00:00|
New Photos from Joe Bonnello
From the KTM factory squad today:
At the end of a very long day on the bike, the Spanish rider prevailed over his nemesis, French-born Cyril Despres by just 37 seconds. It was the Spanish rider’s fifth stage victory in the 33rd edition of the rally and his 16th career Dakar stage win.
KTM’s 10th Dakar title now within grasp
Coma always in shooting distance
Clean ride by Coma
Despres philosophical after failing to break away from Coma
The two KTM factory riders have been each other’s biggest rivals for the past six years and each are known for their courage, skill and determination. Both have also tasted the disappointment of losing out in the final stages.
Ruben Faria and Juan Pedrero, the two water carriers for Despres and Coma respectively, finished Stage 12 in seventh and eighth positions. Pedrero is now fifth overall and Faria is eighth. Tomorrow for the final stage from Cordoba to Buenos Aires riders have to tackle a 645 km link and a relatively short 181 km special, which finishes at the Baradero racing track in the Argentinean capital.
And from Speedbrain BMW:
Stage 12 of the recent Dakar rally became exactly the challenge some had feared. What should normally have been dust turned into mud and waterholes following overnight rain. To make matters even more difficult, the trucks opened the route today, causing deep ruts and an extra hard time for the motorcycle riders. Overall not a fun day for the bikes.
The duo Frans Verhoeven and Pedro Bianchi Prata, of Team BMW Motorrad by speedbrain, was constantly searching for good lines around the mud pools. Verhoeven rode smart and managed all tricky passages without major problems. The Dutchman was rewarded with seventh place on the day, promoting him to 17th in the standings.
Bianchi Prata crashed early in the stage and had to pull his bike out of a ditch, which costed the Portuguese a lot of energy and time. He still delivered a good performance, as he was going alright through all the water. Bianchi Prata made up positions and is now sitting in 32nd spot, but wants to keep pushing for a finish inside the Top 30. Tomorrow sees the Dakar 2011 arrive back in Buenos Aires.