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Dakar 2009: Day 5-Honda Report

  Posted at 10:36:58 AM
  File under  Dakar Race Honda
  Author: Honda Press Release
  Location: Normandy, France

Dakar 2009 logo
Honda logo
Stage 5 neutralized, but where is Vadim Pritulyak?

After a tough fourth day only 150 of the original 270 bikes and quads could continue their race. And even less will have survived the fifth day. What was feared from the fifth stage turned out to be true, as again for many is was a struggle to finish today. After a very fast first part of the stage the terrain and the navigation changes. Only after the second tankstop this changed, as the last kilometers were very tough. Frans Verhoeven, who has fought back from 18th to place 4 in the general rankings expected this kind of ending for the amateur teams when he arrived in the bivac at night. "It was a nice stager, but it will be a struggle to finish for everyone!"

As we write all members of Dakasport / Team Honda Europe have reached the bivac, exept for Vadim Pritulyak! The last 20 kilometers were the hardest part, throught difficult sand dunes. We hope our Kazach manages to get through and find the bivac. Today also the first Bowler Nemesis has broken down, with Tim and Tom Coronel out of the race. Due to the neutralization, they did get a starting time for the sixth stage though..

Mick Extance was the best rider of the team, with a 21th ranking in this special, making him 24th overall. Mick duelled with Watts today, making it into a race. "In the dunes we rode full speed, and after I jumped over a dune I did not dare to look back. Luckily I didn't have too much other adventures today". 

Dakar 2009 Jurgen van den Goorbergh
Jurgen van den Goorbergh       © Honda

Jurgen van den Goorbergh rode his best special so far, ranking 32th place! He had a fright when a big white horse suddenly decided to cross the tracks. "I was riding 130 kmh and almost hit it! Somewhere in the mountians it was, and I could not believe it. The first part of the special didn't work for me. The front suspension couldn't cope, but after I'd found out what was wrong I managed to fix it and could ride with more confidence. At the last part of the stage we follwoed a riverbed, and Gordon passed me in his Hummer at full speed. What sight, and I was first row!" Also for Jurgen the last part of the race was tough, but he was happy to get through. "The dunes in the last 20 km were reallly steep, the sand a bit harder then what I've seen in Morocco. The tip of the dunes was softer, loose sand. Today I did everything myself, the riding, navigation. Luckily today all the bits fell together."

Christoper Jarmuz, 33th in the special and 32th overall. "The first 250 km were fast with a lot of curves and stones. Exactly what I prefer. I managed to overtake about 15 others there. Afther cp2 it became tough, and after 440km the dunes started. I had to go back several times to make more speed and reach the top of the dunes. There, I also managed to overtake some bikes and cars. And of course I tried to overtake Mick, but he was too fast for me today!"

Dakar 2009 Mirjam Pol
Mirjam Pol       © Honda

Mirjam Pol wasn't too happy after the special. "It is no fun riding these Pampa bushes and the loose sand. After cp1 I rode with Evert Kroon and Gerard Rond. When we left the riverbed, I almost kick Evert off his bike. At my side of the riverbed was big overhanging branch which I hit and I moved to the right - exactly where he was riding! Luckily he managed to keep clear. The first 10 km in the dunes were easy. Everywhere you could see bikes and stranded competitors though. The last part was really difficult, I had to work hard. The first cars passed me and I has to find another route. Then I managed to park my bike in the loose sand, almost at the top of a dune. The front wheel was over the dune, but the engine wasn't, and the bike was stuck. I didn't want to go back so with a lot of digging and hard work I managed to get it out and over the top of the dune. Also, I saw Annie Seel at the side of the road today. I would like to know what happend to her as well."

Kees Koolen had to deal with the thunderstorm during the last part of the route, and was soaking wet. "For a large part of the route, I could not drive over 50kmh due to the dust. It was crazy, and I thought "what am I doing here?". Of course you go on, and in the second part of the race it became more fun and I could overtake some of the people that passed me earlier that day."

Dakar 2009
© Honda

The latest news is that stage 5 is neutralized. That would mean for Vadim that when he reaches the bivac he can start tomorrow. The special of tomorrow is shortened, with a finish at cp2. Due to the rain a part of the route has become too tough, and ASO need more time to regroup all the competitors. Bikes start one hour later than planned.

Via: Honda Dakar

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