|SA-Dakar: A gear box problem takes the podium away for David Casteu.|
The dream of a place on top of the standings has gone away in the Atacama Desert on Thursday. At km 100 of the 423 km special stage, the gear box of the Sherco bike left David Casteu hanging.
Even if the engine was changed last night, problems started today. The gear box was blocked at dead point. He dismounted the casing and achieved to put it in first. With this only speed, David arrived to Iquique after losing what´s the most valuable treasure of the Dakar: Time.
Laurent, his "water carrier", joined him and stood with him for 80 km, until the refueling area. Then, David told him to go in front. Casteu is placed among the last riders of today´s stage: 04:57:57 from the leader. His overall position is far from being important.
As he arrives tired to the bivouac in Iquique, he shares his disappointment: "I just came from doing 300 km in first gear, 40 km/h, and by the end of the special section, there were 25 km of enormous dunes. I had to get out the traces, go back, restart, it was incredible. It´s so sad because we changed the engine yesterday night, but - it´s just like that. However, we did so many tests in this gear box. The problem is that we will change the engine tonight for the second time and then we only have one left. Too bad if we have to take 40' penalty (in case of using a 4th engine) - seeing where we are now."
Then, Casteu managed to find some optimism: "I´m still here, I finished the stage. I will start back again and try to climb in front." His best trait is persistence: He will not give up.
Laurent Lazard reached David on the track, helped him and also lost time. He finishes the stage 78th, 02:47:49 from the leader. He is 73rd in the provisional overall ranking, 06:43:42 away from the first.
"When I joined David, at Km 100, it was the moment he was dismounting the casing. I helped him and then he took the road in first speed. I followed him for 80 km, until the refueling. Then, he told me to run in front of him."
The Sherco rider accomplishes his mission of water carrier and has no regrets about it: "I started well, I overtook about twelve bikes. I lost at least one hour, but I´m here to help David. It was a complicated and exhausting stage, with lots of fesh-fesh. We even had a little bit of luck in the story. At a moment, while he was running in first gear, we overtook about ten bikes!"
Now, Laurent thinks about tomorrow: "I have to start in front of him, but it won´t take long for him to join me. I´m here to help him, but it´s very worrying, because it´s the second broken gear box."
2011/01/07 | 15:12 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/URTUBIA