|Dakar 2010: The Aprilia knows how to fly but it dries.|
It should have been "the" day, but the excessive consumption of the bike frustrated the efforts. This morning Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez was gone full gas, attacking in his style and at CP2, kilometer 160, and he arrived 6th, after starting on the 25 position. However, the last kilometers of the special, fuel was once again a problem, and he lost 20 minutes before rejoining the race. A very long time without which he would have won the stage and not the 5th place, 17 minutes behind the winner of the day, the Frenchman, Cyril Despres.
Even if it wasn´t very long, 184 kilometers, today´s special was a true hell, with the first forty kilometers of the so-called "herbe de chameaux", which obligated to reduced speed. Then, it was the time of the white dunes of Fiambala, another step that required an additional effort from men and means.
The race has lost some riders today such as Fretigne, yesterday´s winner, because of engine problems, or Viladoms, fallen at the beginning of the special and rescued by the medical helicopter. Natural that the courage of Lopez is kind of grounded. Today he lost a great opportunity to bring get to the top of the ranking, although he is still absolute 7º, 37 minutes from the new leader Despres, he could be in a better position considering he has lost about forty minutes in the last two stages.
Good race for Paolo Ceci. He arrived destroyed to the finish line, but, besides a couple of harmless slips, he did not have major problems in the stage. He concluded 14º, while in general standings he is now 11º. Meanwhile, Gerard Farres had fuel problems, his tank was dried and he has not yet arrived to Fiambala´s bivouac. Alex Zanotti concluded the stage 51º.
Francisco Lopez: "Today it was the great opportunity, I felt very well and I have attacked full gas. The first part was very technical, I passed many pilots and I was convinced to do it, to win the stage, but once again, no fuel. It is sad, after so many efforts, I finished stage. However the Dakar is still long and given what has happened today to many riders, the unknowns are many. We hope to resolve consumption problems this evening. Now I would be very close to Despres."
Paolo Ceci: "I don´t think I´ve ever done a stage so hard in my whole life, there was everything! The first forty kilometers were like hell, and the white dunes were also difficult. However I am glad, motorcycle does well and I am coming more into the race."
2010/01/04 | 21:01 CET | Editor: MR/HS/E.Bauer