|Dakar Rally 2013: Yamaha´s Frans Verhoeven - "Was like a rollercoaster".|
Stage 10 of the Dakar Rally contained about 2000 turns that made even Yamaha´s Frans Verhoeven dizzy. 357 kilometers of the 636 kilometer long stage were timed. It was tough, long and hot according to Verhoeven who came out tenth, keeping him in 13th in the general standings.
Verhoeven kept the pace high. "I started to hunt down Przygonski straight away and got him within 30 kilometers. From then on I didn't have to bother about him anymore: He got stuck in a fence."
It was easy to miss a turn in the stage from Cordoba to La Rioja in Argentina, with the Andes in sight. "You had to be very careful and concentrated all the time. There were thousands of turns. Nasty short ones, hairpins and very tight turns that kept on going. It was like a rollercoaster. I even got dizzy."
Verhoeven didn't take any risk. "I knew I had to ride clean. Fast, but not too fast. I overtook Johnny Campbell, but let Kurt Caselli pass me. We can ride well together. We closed in on Duclos and Svitko before the refueling."
After the refueling the scenery changed. The tracks became faster, with wider turns. But also some water crossings. One of them got Verhoeven wet to his skin. "I crossed the river and it looked nice and even. But almost at the other side there was a hole. Everything was wet: my suit, even my glasses."
In the scorching hot bivouac in La Rioja Verhoeven was satisfied with his results. 'You could lose a lot of time here. One mistake could hurt.'
2013/01/16 | 13:03 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/GRONENDIJK