|Dakar 2010: Peterhansel drops crucial minutes in soft sand.|
Team X-raid´s Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret dropped crucial minutes in soft sand mid-way through the shortened ninth stage of the 2010 Dakar Rally between Copiapó and La Serena in Chile on Monday. The delay cost them a potential fastest stage time and enabled BMW X3 CC team-mates Guerlain Chicherit and Tina Thörner to close to within 14m 35s of their fourth position in the overall classification.
"It was a good stage," said Peterhansel. "For me I made a mistake and we were stuck in a slow place. I fell into a hole in the camel grass. It took a time to move the car very slowly. It was a day when it was easy to make mistakes. The difference to the top three is large and we are now relying on others to have problems. Today was a missed opportunity and now we will leave behind the leaders on a dusty stage tomorrow."
Chicherit was still being plagued by a niggling problem. "I think we have a small wire loose somewhere. We also made a navigational error. We went behind a ridge and could not go back. I tried to find a way passed."
Russia’s Leonid Novitskiy and German co-driver Andreas Schulz set the eighth fastest time in the third BMW X3 CC and climb three places to hold ninth in the unofficial overall classification, their cause helped by bad delays for Poland’s Krysztof Holowczyc, Brazil’s Guilherme Spinelli and American Robbie Gordon. The stage was won by Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah, who reduced Carlos Sainz’s overall advantage to 8m 36s.
Peterhansel’s record-breaking 54th stage win had been equalled by Kamaz’s Vladimir Tchaguine on Sunday’s stage and this afternoon’s delay meant that the Frenchman was unable to add to his stunning tally of Dakar stage successes.
2010/01/12 | 12:18 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Perkins