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Dakar 2007: KTM Press Release 16Jan

  Posted at 06:11:19 PM
  File under  Dakar Race KTM
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

Frans Verhoevens big come back
Frans Verhoeven was in the desert yesterday, waiting for his assistance, for five hours.

Dakar KTM Frans Verhoeven
Less sand, more green....closer to Dakar for Frans Verhoeven      (c) van Oers J.

A broken gearbox forced the Dutchman (KTM Gauloises) to change engines. He passed the time by taking a nap, taking out the broken engine and sharing experiences with a Mauritanian family, that popped out of nowhere. ‘I told them I was waiting for my truck, so everytime a truck came down the road, they shouted: camion, monsieur, camion! I bet they had the day of their lives, because everybody stopped.’

Dakar KTM Chris Blais
Chris Blais entering the savannah     (c) van Oers J.

After a few hours the number 14 bike had its new engine and Verhoeven was able to move on. Finishing 131st yesterday, he had to start todays special – a 366 km loop around Nema in Mauritania – as one of the last bikers. ‘Last year I had a lot of trouble with my bike, thus I knew what I had to do today,’ Verhoeven commented. ‘I knew I had to overtake some 120 bikes, one way or the other, and I did. It was like a Playstation game, but this time with a lot of dust.’ Verhoeven finished 11th today, only 14.47 minutes behind stage winner Helder Rodriguez from Portugal.

Dakar KTM Marc Coma
Marc Coma heading for a second overall win       (c) van Oers J.

The leading riders in the standings did not take any risks. Marc Coma (KTM Repsol), Cyril Despres (KTM Gauloises) and David Casteu (KTM Gauloises) just wanted to stay in front, not loose too much time and keep their engines running. ‘It was a technical stage, but not very fast or interesting,’ Coma said. ‘For me it was important to remain in the lead of the standings on this last day in Mauritania. Tomorrow is just a liaison, the day after we will be in Mali already. There are not so many opportunities left to gain time.’

Results Nema - Nema:

Rank Rider Nation Bike Time
2 Marc Coma SPA KTM 4.13.39
3 Cyril Despres FRA KTM 4.13.46
5 David Casteu FRA KTM 4.17.36
7 Chris Blais USA KTM 4.19.56
11 Frans Verhoeven NED KTM 4.27.42
13 Esteve Pujol SPA KTM 4.33.52

Overall results:

Rank Rider Nation Bike Time
1 Marc Coma SPA KTM 40.55.10
2 Cyril Despres FRA KTM 41.49.53
3 David Casteu FRA KTM 42.10.22
4 Chris Blais USA KTM 42.35.47
7 Esteve Pujol SPA KTM 43.47.34
21 Frans Verhoeven NED KTM 49.20.18

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