|Dakar Rally 2013: Dutch Yamaha rider Frans Verhoeven found fun again.|
A dirty, nasty track is in favor of Frans Verhoeven. The former trial specialist feels at home in a difficult stage with stones, dust and sand that require technical skills not everybody has. The fifth stage of the Dakar Rally was like that. If it would have been longer than just 130 kilometers it might have been the usual 'stage win after disaster day' for Verhoeven. He had to settle for 15th and was satisfied with that.
The fourth stage of the Dakar was a day to forget for the Dutchman. Unfortunately bad days in the Dakar are not possible to forget. They hunt you until the finish. "It is difficult to make up time you lost', Verhoeven explained. 'Normally I would certainly have tried, but this was too short to make a difference. But I had a lot of fun and that surprised me after the disappointment I started with. I was still sick of yesterday's bad luck."
The special between Arequipa in Peru and Arica in Chile led the competitors through a riverbed with stones covered with feshfesh. "A really dirty trial area", according to Verhoeven.
"It is difficult to trial with a heavy rally bike, but I can do that with my Yamaha. A whole bunch of riders was struggling. I past them all at a very steep side of the track. I really enjoyed it. Only when I look at the general standings I am still disappointed. My Yamaha team mates Olivier Pain and David Casteu are still leading and I am happy with that. But I could have been there too instead of being 23th. The good news is: the Dakar is still long way..."
2013/01/09 | 22:45 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/GRONENDIJK