The Dakar entered Chile with “Vest” in an expectant seventh place in the table stage which took the rally of Peru, was won by Frenchman David Casteu and there are three Gauls at the head of the overall standings. “It’s nice to run in Chile, here I give everything and my people know it,” said Lopez.
The race is just starting. “It’s wonderful when I see a Chilean flag. It helps me and motivates me. But it’s still a race with all its dangers and I’m well placed to know what they are. There are very fast riders on the rally and it will be very difficult. We’ll be returning to Chile, but we have to tackle Fiambala before that and that will be a real day of reckoning. Tomorrow will be a fairly decisive stage where positions will be important. After that, we’ll return to Chile and Copiapo which will also sort the wheat from the chaff. It just goes to show that the race is only just starting”.