|Dakar Rally 2013: Dutch Rider Frans Verhoeven - "I did what I always do".|
Frans Verhoeven from Holland has made his ambitions clear for the Dakar 2013, finishing second in the first stage. It was just a short loop of only 13 kilometers around the bivouac in Pisco, 250 kilometers south of the Peruvian capital Lima.
Verhoeven didn’t feel as if he was riding his Yamaha YZ450 that fast when he arrived back in the bivouac. "I did what I always do, nothing special", the Dutchman said. "To be honest I was on the brakes more than I normally do."
A steep step down in the beginning of the special stage forced Verhoeven to brake hard. "It was too steep and too deep to jump. About 20 meters, I guess. That is impossible to jump, even for me. After that I just was on the brakes all the time, just to be sure."
In the meantime the Yamaha worked its way through the ultrasoft sand of the Peruvian desert. "It’s a hell of a bike", Verhoeven said. "You cannot afford to hold still for half a second. The sand is too soft. But with this bike I can ride in a higher gear than I would normally do. It doesn’t stop, it keeps on going without wheelspin."
After all Verhoeven thought he rode a bit too fast. "It is nice to finish second, but I would prefer to be a little further down. Fifth or so.’ But being behind Chaleco and have Cyril Despres behind is a good scenario as well. When Cyril passes me, I just have to stay with him. It is a good start of the Dakar."
2013/01/06 | 15:53 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/GROENENDIJK