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Dakar 2009: "Nani" Roma training at altitude in preparation for Dakar.

Since last Sunday, and until next weekend, "Nani" Roma is training with his coach, Lluís Capdevila, in the Centro de Alto Rendimiento – High Performance Centre - in the Sierra Nevada situated at an altitude of 2 300 metres. The Repsol driver is intensifying his physical preparation, both aerobic (stamina) as well as anaerobic (strength), in the final part of his preparation for the Dakar 2009. Andean stages at heights of more than 4 000 metres, days with eight or nine hours at the wheel and with temperatures that vary from an intense heat during the day to cold at night mean that a driver`s muscles have to be in good condition and is something especially important in this type of race.

His training will concentrate on two aspects of his physical preparation. Firstly, sets of exercises in the gymnasium will be developed, these are aimed at the the different muscles that will be most affected by the demands of being at the wheel of a car for long periods. For example, the neck muscles, the abdominal muscles, and the lower back; as they must cushion the violent and constant vibrations that the body receives inside a car on the fast tracks that the race is on. At the same time he is working on his stamina, essential for the long stages in his new Mitsubishi Racing Lancer.

That is why the Repsol driver is climbing several mountains in the Sierra Nevada on skis, and today his objective was the summit of the Veleta, a peak at an altitude of 3 395 metres. The selection of the Sierra Nevada mountain range to put the final touches to his preparation was no accident, but specifically chosen to help "Nani" Roma get used to high altitudes, a factor that has to be taken into account as stages at over 4 000 metres are to be tackled.

Nani Roma: "Having seen the route for this year`s race, one thing is certain: it is going to be a very demanding Dakar, and the physical preparation will be a very important aspect. The actual conditions are still not known exactly, but we know that it will be very hot, and that there will be stages at high altitudes, that means we should be ready for them. And, driving for so long in a car cushioning the bumps and shocks in the jumps means that you have to be in really good form. There are many days of competition, and you have to be one hundred per cent everyday, you cannot leave things to luck."

2008/11/26 | 08:57 CET | Editor: MR/HS/David Martínez Pato

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