|Dakar 2010: Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez takes special measures.|
Now it starts to get serious. After all the preliminary days, the Dakar goes live with the first real step, a stage short but technical. The riders took off last night, from 4h25m from Colon´s bivouac, in the province of Buenos Aires to head to the first selective stage, after a transfer of 403 kilometers. Yesterday evening, at the press briefing, a shortening of 54kms for this first stage was announced: After an abundant rainfall these days, the tracks became impossible. The timed sector was so reduced to 165kms of the 219 planned. However, a very technical stage, with a fast part in the beginning.
The gap between the riders was small because of the shortness of the SS. The winner of the first stage was David Casteu, ahead of Despres and Coma. Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez takes the 5th place of the day, 2'42''from the winner, securing a good grid position for tomorrow's stage. The Chilean rides without taking risks, considering a "warming up" stage to gain confidence with the bike and land in Argentina.
Very good test for his "water carrier" Gerard Farres. The Catalonian did not forced his pace either, and has sought in particular to take confidence with the road book, which he is not used to since last Dakar. Farres was 13th, 4'45'' from Casteu. Slowed by the dust, since he started thirty-fifth, Paolo Ceci has dealt the first day with special attention, overcoming a dozen of riders who started before him. With the 18th place today, at 8'43''from the winner, the man from Modena can start tomorrow in a less awkward position.
Problems instead for Alex Zanotti. Three kilometers before the end of the special, San Marino´s rider had a technical problem with the bike and lost 26 minutes. Tomorrow begins with a mileage more important: The second stage from Cordoba to La Rioja with a total of 626kms. The special stage will start after a transfer of 56kms and it will be composed of 294kms.
Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez: "I am very satisfied, I ran quiet without taking risks in order to gain the feeling with the Aprilia RXV 4.5. I enjoyed it, the special was very technical to drive and a fifth place is a good start."
Gerard Farres: "It was a year ago, from Dakar, that I haven´t done races with road book, so I drove calmly to regain the automatic navigation. Everything is OK, the bike is very nice to ride and I enjoyed it."
Paolo Ceci: "The first part of the special was really fast, then we climbed higher in altitude and the soil became very technical, it seemed like Sardinia. I was slowed down by the dust: starting with the number 35, I passed at least a dozen of riders, so I feel tired."
2010/01/03 | 12:47 CET | Editor: MR/HS/E.Bauer