|Dakar Rally 2013: Honda´s Rodrigues "Strategy was not to push too much".|
The Dakar Rally enters Chile and the difference is visible in terms of the scenery and the average speed recorded at the end of the stage. Riders tackled mountains rocky paths today reaching 2,200 meters before riding downhill for a 136-km long stage. It was a very demanding stage from a physical point of view especially in the stony sections and in the river bed crossings.
Team HRC Riders started this relatively short stage with the target to close the gap from the front riders but without taking too many risks.
It was a tight battle at the front with French David Casteu winning the stage 1:09 minutes ahead of Olivier Pain and 3:25 in front of Alessandro Botturi. Cyril Despres finished in fourth place, 4:07 behind his countryman, whilst Helder Rodrigues was eighth, 4'52" behind the stage winner. Javier Pizzolito finished 18th, while Johnny Campbell finished in 24th position.
"It was a technical stage with lots of fech fech mixed with rocks, some fast off-piste and then we climbed on rocky trails up to 2,000 meters" said Helder Rodrigues. "As it was a short stage, my strategy was not to push too much, so that tomorrow I can start in 8th position and I can attack focusing on recovering positions. My CRF 450 rally worked well today and I’m satisfied with today’s performance."
Argentinian Pizzolito now sits in 11th place overall 25:45 mins behind Pain who maintains the lead) followed by his team mate Helder Rodrigues, 12th at 25:58 mins. Johnny Campbell sits in 98th place.
"The final stage in Peru was short but very technical" said Pizzolito. "I didn’t push too much as this was not a stage where you could recover many positions. I’m focusing on the first stage in Chile tomorrow where we will face sand and dunes of the Atacama desert."
Johnny Campbell told: "At the beginning there was a lot of fech fech mixed with stones so I rode more conservative, then we had a challenging hill climb on rocky mountains trails. Riding downhill, we faced tricky river crossings with lots of ditches. I was not comfortable in the first part of the stage, but after km 50, when we got some fast hard terrain, it was more a "Baja style" ride and I could ride more on full gas."
2013/01/10 | 14:35 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/HRC