The 2014 Dakar Rally is starting to shake out in quick order, here are a couple of my notes for today:
Joan Pedrero – Hello Friends between one thing and another this Dakar is costing me more to find time to sit down to write the blog! At first I had some problems adapting to the Sherco, but increasingly we better adapt to each other, ha ha. The truth is going well on winding areas and is a good bike. had an error that led to give me longer than it played back in yesterday’s stage. I picked wrong direction and instead of spending x crest with a careening down into a dry river which was very difficult to go back, so I had to find an alternative way. In total we lost quite a few precious minutes, arriving in position 43. , we arrived at the bivouac and had no other to put the bike up, relax, focus and study the roadbook to get very strong and prepared for today’s special. Today no It was an easy step. We went a long way back. I have put all my focus and all my desire to overcome stones, dry rivers, mud and go passing drivers. , I’m very very happy! I am overwhelmed by all your posts and I thank you very much! The training effort and bear fruit and feel great pick! Tomorrow is open runway, roadbook well studied not think looking back! gassssssssssssssss
Laia Sanz – ” I was not feeling very good morning and practically had no breakfast, so I considered the day calmly. I thought that I would finish about 40th and I was very surprised to finally finish in the top 20 , ” she explained, exhausted upon arrival at the end of the special Laia, after covering 353 competitive kilometers of the day. ” Today was sailing very well in the first part special, and it was not easy, but the afternoon and he was exhausted and I went the wrong way with Helder Rodriguez in a river. There we took about ten minutes to find the correct path .. I hoped it was not a very difficult day because after a tough stage, always put an easier, but this time it has not been. They have gone hand in hand with the last two stages, very slow and difficult. We are all very tired and the last 70 km I saw stars. I’m dead! Go solid for two days! I ache all over and still have to do the link, prepare the roadbook tomorrow … At this rate, if they still have to settle the race only to finish.”
Cyril Despres – “Everything was going perfectly and the strategy I’d devised with Mika and our tyre swap was paying off handsomely. 170 kilometres from the end I was riding with Marc (Coma) and Joan (Barreda) and shortly after that Marc and I managed to break away and I became the virtual overall leader. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed but I’ve been here before and still reached the top of the final podium. It would have been so easy to have abandoned out in the special and catch the next plane home, but I love this race, I love riding my bike and most of all I love a challenge. And as long as I believe I have a fighting chance I’ll do exactly that – keep fighting.”
Joan Barreda: “I was riding very smooth and easy today, opening the track without risking anything. It was a long stage and at one point the roadbook seemed to be wrong. It took me quite some time to re-assure where to go, and I returned a few times and lost several minutes on my competitors. Nevertheless I could finish the marathon stage well and defend my lead again, keeping me on top of the standings since the first day. That is very satisfying. Tomorrow will be a very long stage with over 900 km, and lot of sand too.”
Paulo Goncalves: “I am very disappointed, as I lost the chance for a top position yesterday with a small mistake going down from the top of the 4,300 m mountain. Taking a steep downhill, I realised this was not the right path, but it was impossible to return up. I continued going downhill and found Ruben Faria on the ground after a crash. I called the helicopter and waited until he got evacuated. Meanwhile, a group of other riders arrived, also on the wrong way, and together we worked our way through the wilderness, but we lost over two hours. Today, I recovered even with the handicap of a broken roadbook reader to finish seventh. Now I will do everything to help my teammate Joan defend his overall lead.”
From KTM – Red Bull KTM Factory riders Chaleco Lopez of Chile and Spain’s Marc Coma had a good day out in Stage 4 of the Dakar 2014, finishing 2-3 in the stage. Coma has moved up to second overall and trails by only 3 minutes 10 and Lopez is in third overall, 5.12 behind the leader.
As predicted, the second half of the first marathon stage was a matter of survival as riders nursed their bikes home after no mechanical assistance and no fresh tires overnight.
Lopez had a great day, finishing only 29 seconds behind the stage winner, Joan Pedrero. Coma, who is bidding for his fourth Dakar title, trimmed the gap to overall leader, Barreda of Spain, to just 3 minutes 10 seconds. Lopez commented briefly at the end of his stage: ‘Stone, river, stone – a very technical route but my tires were good enough”. Coma also said it was “a long and tough day”.
Factory teammate Jordi Viladoms was eleventh on Wednesday and is ninth in the overall standings some 40 minutes 14 behind the leader. The fourth team member, Ruben Faria of Portugal crashed in Tuesday’s stage and is out of the race.
KTM-supported rider Kuba Przygonski of Poland is currently overall tenth and Riaan van Niekerk of South Africa is twenty-second after a long day. He lost two hours in the stage through navigational issues. Australia’s Ben Grabham crashed and is also out.
The marathon stage proved to be an early shakeout and while anything is possible in the Dakar, a handful of riders now seem to be in command of the overall standings. Only the top five are within half an hour of the leader and Coma and Lopez are well placed in this group.
Riders still have to face a second marathon stage after they enter Bolivia for the first time after Saturday’s rest day, and there are still the many kilometers of desert riding in Chile before they reach the finish in Valparaiso.
They now have to tackle another very long timed special on Thursday. They face 527 km under the clock and the longest stage in terms of distance – 911 km – as they make their way from Chilecito to Tucuman. The timed special is in two parts and much of it is in the sand. Riders will also have to deal with high temperatures.
Don’t miss the second video!