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2012 Dakar Rally Stage 3 Photos & Quotes
If you have not seen by now, it was another big day at the Dakar. Quinn Cody crashed out in spectacular fashion, fortunately he appears just banged up, but his race is over. “All good just happen to be staying with Ryno’s brother Jeremy In Mendoza, flying home tomorrow gonna be sore for sure….. 10 stitches in my face and a broken collar bone but I walked away, my lucky day.”
Here are the team statements:
KTM: DESPRES NOW LEADS STANDINGS
KTM factory rider and three-times Dakar Rally winner Cyril Despres of France turned up the heat on Tuesday to take the Stage Three victory in the world’s toughest rally and assume overall lead. In a change of fortune in the KTM factory team, Despres crossed the line 13 minutes ahead of rival and teammate Marc Coma who ran into difficulties in the final stages of the race.
The two rode neck and neck during the stage with Despres having a slight 20 seconds lead at the first way point. Coma fought back to return to the front of the pack at way point two edging ahead by 14 seconds. Only two seconds separated the two KTM riders at the third way point after 162 km of the 270 km timed special but then four minutes later Coma, opening the road, took a wrong turn and left the the way open for Despres to go on and win the stage and dropped down the order to finish in seventh place on the day.
Even at this early stage of the 33rd edition, Despres and Coma have started to put their special stamp on the results and third placed Frenchman David Casteu sits back at 17 minutes 16 seconds behind the leader.
Despite ending the day with a handy cushion in both the stage and the overall standings, Despres said it had still been a complicated stage and he was not happy about the setback of his teammate Coma. “It didn’t start well this morning, because when I hit a hole, I ripped off a fingernail on the clutch. 60 km later, my compass repeater stopped. We reached the mountains and I wanted to keep the same pace, because I knew that Marc was riding very fast in front of me, but when we got to a stream, I must have slowed the pace when I had to check my GPS. To cap it all, I broke my rear brake on the big climb, so the descent was very tricky, but I made sure I was careful. I couldn’t see many tire tracks over the last 50 kilometers so I wasn’t sure that Marc was up ahead. In the end, I finished first and I’ve been told that he chose the wrong track so that’s going to be to my advantage. It’s good for my position, even if I’m never happy about other people’s setbacks.”
On Tuesday riders headed due north in Argentina following the spine of the Andes Cordillera and opened their account with a liaison section of 291 km before they attacked the times special of 270 km. the acute nature of the terrain where they tracked through river beds and dodged rocks and potholes in a climb that took them to a breath robbing 3000 m up in the mountains required absolute concentration and physical effort. Wednesday they continue north to the Argentinean town of Chilecito.
Coma and Despres have won three Dakar titles each and ironically they have achieved these impressive results on alternate years. Coma was victorious in the around 9000 km in 2011 and his navigation error today has left Despres with a 10 minute advantage in the overall standings. But in this long and arduous race to the finish in Lima, Peru, anything can happen and riders still face the arduous battle with the deserts sands of the Atacama Desert and new territory in coastal Peru as the Dakar in South America enters new territory.
Tuesday saw the KTM factory team’s two support riders, Joan Pedrero for Marc Coma and Rubin Faria for Cyril Despres finish 15th and 17th on a day that shook up the standing order and vaulted some new riders into the front of the field. They are currently 11th and 15th in the overall rankings. KTM’s Dakar rookies Johnny Aubert from the KTM Enduro Factory team and Chris Birch of New Zealand who rides in Extreme Enduro events for KTM finish in 24th and 38th position. They are currently 21st and 34th in the overall standings.
Speedbrain Husqvarna:Hell of stones followed by podium!
Paulo Goncalves lived up to his promise and attacked at today´s stage three of the Dakar 2012. The Portuguese member of the Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain finished third during an extremely difficult Andes stage from San Rafael to San Juan. Goncalves improved dramatically to seventh place in the standings.
It was a race day like hardly ever before in Dakar history. Some at the bivouac even called it “Erzberg”-like.
The course offered extreme stone passages and navigation was tricky also. Coming from 21st position, Paulo Goncalves´ error-free ride was rewarded with a podium result and a leap into the top ten.
Joan Barreda also wanted to fire a warning. The Spaniard followed race leader Marc Coma in the opening minutes, but crashed at Km 20 and had to fight back with a damaged navigation device. Nevertheless he managed to re-join the title holder. But bad luck happened again a few kilometres from the finish. Barreda´s chain jumped off and jammed the drivetrain. It took him a while to fix the problem, the team newcomer eventually lost 41 minutes.
Zé Hélio meanwhile rode a solid race and ended the day near the Top 20. “I never experienced a day like this,”
the Brazilian said. “It was the most extreme and technical stuff I´ve ever ridden.” While Jose Manuel Pellicer came home inside the Top 30, Ike Klaumann crashed and injured himself. The race is over for the likeable Brazilian.
Wednesday´s programme is expected to be difficult and long again. The total distance from San Juan to Chilecito is over 700 km, 326 of them being a special test. The scenic Rioja canyons will demand good navigational skills.
Ned Suesse is now the top American, a position he probably never imagined. He finished the day in 64th position, very respectable. Fellow American James Embro is 93rd today and the only other yank still in the event, Mike Stanfield is 142nd.
Laia Sanz and her compatriat Mark Guasch are doing very well in 35th and 33rd positions. Laia felt very happy with her day. Later it looked like she would get a 40 minute penalty for missing a way point. She was in a group of about 20 riders that all got off course. We will have to see how it looks for her in the morning.
Chris Birch – Finishing 30th, Chris reports he had his best day yet and was happy to move up a little. Looking forward to improving over the next 11 days.