One day they called the Dakar the Transat Of Alizes, referring to that ocean sailing extreme races that were filling the pages of the newspaper and of the imagination. Now things are a little bit different, and in order to render the highest limit of a competition based on the adventure of a raid, all of them refers to the Dakar. One of the most amazing components of his very special cocktail is the power of the unforeseen. One day on the altar, the following one in the dust (and this is not only a literary reference) is what can occur to everyone.
Only two days to go, the first assistants already booking an hotel room in Dakar, maybe as close as possible to the ocean, and waiting for their riders passing throw the last kilometres of the race. Suddenly a satellite phone call: “I’m stopped at about km 200, I crashed. I’m OK, but also too much sorry!”, says Jordi Viladoms, the most admirable rookie of this Dakar. “The doctors of the organization will bring me to the hospital by helicopter”. Miracles of the technology! The injured reassuring his team!
Marc Coma (c) DPPI
In the meanwhile, over the last 254 kms long special test of the Dakar, the one between Tambacounda and Dakar, Frenchman David Fretigné is clinching his first victory, Marc Coma is carefully pointing to his greatest Dakar, and some other riders are… caching for the right way. Important names of competitors, as Cyril Despres and Giovanni Sala. The two champions get lost between kilometre 160 and km 172, in a complicated intersection. A simple note on the road book: Turn To Right, Then Go To… and a compass direction. The first rider coming turns to right and, at the exit of the village, takes a pist choosing it from tens, ten get lost. More than 40 minutes wasted, and also some thrills. A step behind. Marc Coma comes into the same point of the road book, check the tripmaster and, even seeing the traces of the passed riders, has some doubt. The mileage does not correspond exactly, so the Spaniard advances some meters, until he find the right track, and run away. For sure the Repsol KTM rider performs the masterpiece of the day.
Chris Blais (c) DPPI
American Chris Blais also make a great job. Due to his sixth place of the today’s special test, the RedBull KTM exponent is now knocking to the podium, only seven minutes outside.
Today the Dakar met the soul of Fabrizio Meoni, and passed on the terrain assigned by the government to host a new centre of arts and crafts entitled to the unforgettable Champion. There the riders also met the nearest Fabrizio’s friends. The trace of a heart was also included in the race track, as a part of the road.
Twenty years ago the Paris Dakar missed his father Thierry Sabine, dead within the terrible accident of his helicopter. Today a new mourning: at km 200 of the liaison an accident involving an assistance truck costs the life of a 12-year-old boy.
And finally tomorrow the race will end. 24 more hours, crossing our fingers.
Special: 254 km
1. Fretigne (YAMAHA), 03:16:59h
2. Coma (Repsol KTM), + 00:33
3. Farres Guell (YAMAHA), + 16:59
4. Vinters (KTM), + 22:57
5. Verhoeven (YAMAHA), + 23:54
6. Blais (Red Bull USA KTM), + 24:37
7. Knuiman (YAMAHA), + 27:01
8. Varga (KTM), + 27:09
9. Floirac (KTM), + 27:09
10. Lazard (KTM), + 30:08
11. Embro (KTM), + 30:56
12. Rivera (KTM), + 31:08
13. Casteu (Gauloises KTM), + 31:18
14. Czachor (KTM), + 31:19
15. Mora Busquets (YAMAHA), + 31:33
16. Lepan (KTM), + 31:47
17. Bonjean (HONDA); + 31:47
18. Mengus (KTM), + 31:52
19. Ullevalseter (KTM), + 31:57
20. Bethys (HONDA), + 32:42
22. De Gavardo (Repsol KTM), + 33:04
31. Gau (Gauloises KTM), + 36:38
43. Despres (Gauloises KTM), + 42:46
50. Sala (Repsol KTM), + 49:41
1. Coma (Repsol KTM), 55:27:17 h
2. Despres (Gauloises KTM), 56:40:46 h, + 01:13:29 h
3. Sala (Repsol KTM), 53:50:25 h, + 02:29:48 h
4. Blais (Red Bull USAKTM), 58:03:35 h, + 02:36:18 h
5. De Gavardo (Repsol KTM), 58:50:04 h, + 03:22:47 h, Penalty: 01.00:00 h
6. Ullevalseter (KTM), 59:22:09 h, + 03:54:52 h
7. Duclos (KTM), 60:11:13 h, + 04:43:56 h
8. Casteu (Gauloises KTM), 61:43:38 h, + 06:16:21 h
9. Rodrigues (YAMAHA), 62:21:58 h, + 06:54:41 h, Penalty: 02:00:00 h
10. Vinters (KTM), 63:20:31 h, + 07:53:14 h
11. Gau (Gauloises KTM), 63:21:22 h, + 07:54:05 h
12. Knuiman (YAMAHA), 63:56:44 h, + 08:29:27 h
13. Fretigne (YAMAHA), 64:13:13 h, + 08:45:56 h
14. Czachor (YAMAHA), 64:14:11 h, +08:46:54 h
15. Algay (YAMAHA), 64:15:25 h, + 08:48:08 h
16. Farres Guell (YAMAHA), 64:41:44 h, + 09:14:27 h, Penalty: 30:00
17. Street (KTM), 65:30:08 h, + 10:02:51 h
18. Bethys (HONDA), 65:37:18 h, +10:10:01 h
19. Marchini (YAMAHA), 66:29:17 h, + 11:02:00 h, Penalty: 02:00:00 h