Johnny Campbell talks injury from stage 9 – I have never been in so much pain as I am right now and having to continue 4 more days of Dakar. Believe me that I am living proof that God is strong in our weakness. I just completed over 600km in the deserts of Argentina and I have no excuse but I was carried thru by Gods mercy. The stage was actually amazing with fun roads and green grassy trails on a bike only stage. I wish I was full strength cause I would have liked to tear it up. Instead I was cautious not to get in trouble today because my body just couldn’t have reacted quick enough. I think I was 21st on the stage. Tomorrows stage is going to be very difficult. Hot, and dunes in Fiambala. Usually known as a game changing stage. I just pray I have enough strength to push thru the sand.
Hope everyone is well.
133 bikes will start stage 11. With a new sandy episode, the Dakar 2013 enters a third phase in which each competitor will need to adapt their driving or riding technique and overall approach to the terrain: the less attentive will leave themselves open to very costly navigation errors. On a route that is slightly different for the cars/trucks and bikes/quads, the stage will include 256 km of link stage, followed by 220 km of special stage that will finish near the bivouac (with a small 6-km link stage). Sometimes, nothing happens around Fiambala… but it’s very rare! On average, these dunes with their attractive contours often hold nasty surprises in store. Anything is possible, including in the new dunes added to the programme. Whilst in most of the categories the positions are becoming increasingly more established, even if the gaps are small in some cases, there should be a certain amount of new developments by the end of the day.
Start Special – After 51 kilometres of the special, one quarter of the way through, Hélder Rodrigues is the quickest with a lead of 1’30” over Francisco Lopez, 2’47” over Paulo Gonçalves, 2’59” over Kurt Caselli, 3’07” over Cyril Despres and 3’19” over Juan Pedrero Garcia.
After 83 km, American Kurt Caselli is currently the quickest rider on the special behind Hélder Rodrigues, who he trails by 1’41”. 2’58” behind the stage leader lies his countryman Paulo Gonçalves in third, ahead of Spaniard Juan Pedrero Garcia, 3’12” behind first place, Italian Alesandro Botturi, 4’05” behind Rodrigues, and Cyril Despres, 4’51” behind the provisional leader. Opening the way has not been an easy exercise for Joan Barreda who has lost 6 minutes so far.
120km – Caselli in charge, the American is in top form today and has come through the main portion of dunes in front, with a lead of 18” over Hélder Rodrigues, 2’17” over Juan Pedrero Garcia, 4’05” over Paulo Gonçalves, 4’32” over Alessandro Botturi and 5’36” over Cyril Despres.
CP4 – Caselli, Chaleco, Rodriguez, Predrero, Gonclaves, Botturi, Despres
CP5 – Caselli over Chaleco by a mere 2 seconds, Rodriguez, Predrero, Botturi, Gonclaves, Despres
News – I just noticed that Speedbrain Husky support rider Jordi Viladoms did not take the start today. Here are his tweets from yesterday: “stopped at km 165, new mechanical problems but okay and accompanied by some locals”, “This time there is no solution. Thank you very much for all that have supported me in this adventure and I look towards the next one”, “A medical car picked me up from the course and has led to CP3. Here seems I will take up the helicopter to Rioja”.
CP6 – Caselli opening gap to over a minute from Rodriguez, Chaleco, Pedrero, Gonclaves, Despres
Not content with being the quickest on the special, the American has also taken over the position of opening the way for the pack of bikes, ahead of Cyril Despres and Joan Barreda. The positions on the tracks only partially reflect the stage positions, however, because whilst Kurt Caselli is indeed the quickest leading Juan Pedrero Garcia by 4’01” and Paulo Gonçalves by 5’16”, Cyril Despres trails him by a little more than 7 minutes and Joan Barreda is 14’20 behind the American. Hélder Rodrigues, Francisco Lopez and Alessandro Botturi have not yet reached this point, so these positions may change soon.
Finish – Kurt Caselli is the first bike to arrive to the end of stage 11. He has not only led much of the day, but put himself out as first bike on the course too. This is the kind of leader experience that very few riders ever get to know. It is one thing to start in the rear and follow tracks. It is very much another thing to have to lead the way as a rookie with little previous knowledge. We may be seeing a new future for the Dakar developing today.
We will have to wait and see if his time holds up for the stage win. Regardless, there can be no doubt that he will have earned the respect of many on a stage like today.
|4||PEDRERO GARCIA (ESP)||KTM||003:05:19||0:10:18|
|5||LOPEZ CONTARDO (CHL)||KTM||003:05:52||0:10:51|
|6||BARREDA BORT (ESP)||HUSQVARNA||003:06:10||0:11:09|
|19||VAN NIEKERK (ZAF)||KTM||003:30:10||0:35:09|
|3||LOPEZ CONTARDO (CHL)||KTM||033:18:10||0:08:52|
|7||PEDRERO GARCIA (ESP)||KTM||033:46:42||0:37:24|
|14||VAN NIEKERK (ZAF)||KTM||034:39:18||1:30:00|
Kurt Caselli is in 30th position, Johnny Campbell 47th