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Dakar 2010: Great crowd in Buenos Aires for an unforgettable start.



The big day has arrived! After a quiet end of the year for the 373 teams at the Dakar 2010, the race becomes a reality today. This morning at 10am in La Rural, the headquarters of the Dakar Rally here in Buenos Aires, an introductory briefing was held by the Dakar´s director, Etienne Lavigne, and sporting director, David Castera.

All basic rules of the race to ensure safety were presented, as well as an explanation over this year´s race roads, which are very challenging, even on paper. Argentina´s first two stages will be driven without much navigation, with different routes for cars and bikes. There weather remains the unknown factor of the day, the sky is gray in Buenos Aires and threats of rain. Giofil Aprilia Racing Team has arranged the final details of the expedition logistics yesterday and is now ready for the great adventure of the Dakar in South America.

The official start will be at 2h30pm (the 18h30 in Europe), from the stage located in Avenida 9 Julio, where bikes will start first, in reverse order of number. The Aprilia riders will leave after 15h, to face a first transfer of 317kms to Colon in the province of Buenos Aires. The first special stage will be tomorrow, a stage of 652 kilometers between Colon and Cordoba, 219kms of which will be timed. A first special stage not too challenging to start getting to get the heart of the race and point to Chile, where the most important and complicated journeys will take place.

Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez was very focused and calm this morning: "The first two stages will begin get use to the bike, the terrain and the other competitors. I think I will go up to 70%, without taking unnecessary risks. The important thing is to stay with them, no attack in force. The real race will be in Chile and these early days will be used to develop all necessary details to try to do a good Dakar."

More tension, however, for Alex Zanotti and Paolo Ceci, their first experience in ASO´s marathonic rally. "The four days spent here," said Zanotti "they were a bit stressful, everything needs to be set up. Now is a great moment and the tension begins to be felt. I'll have to try to change the way I drive, normally very aggressive: the race is long and to get to the bottom I must maintain a constant concentration."

More or less the same content in the words of Modena´s Paolo Ceci: "Here we are, finally! I could not wait anymore. Now we start with a little agitation, it is such a big thing. I am sure that once we will start, the situation will calm down, but in this moment the emotion is strong."

2010/01/02 | 13:14 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Edoardo Bauer











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