|SA-Dakar: A hard start in the Dakar Rally 2011 for Aprilia Giofil Team.|
After the stress of the days before the race, the 33rd version of the Dakar has started for real. The difficulties of the stage were not really on the timed section, a special stage of 192km, but in the long transfer that took the riders to Rio Cuarto, the start of the stage. The first bikes left the bivouac of Victoria at 4.20 a.m.
The special stage was over a very fast road in the beginning, followed by mountain routes much more technical. It was a warm-up stage for Francisco López, who didn´t want to force his pace and enter the race progressively. "Chaleco" finished in the 7th position, 3:14 from the stage winner, Ruben Faria.
"It was an optimal day, considering that I haven´t forced anything and I´m only 3 minutes away, so it´s a good start. Most of all, today I wanted to be sure that the bike is working well, looking forward to the next days that will be harder and harder" the Chilenian told.
Also Gerard Farres didn´t take risks, playing his role of water carrier perfectly. The Catalonian had a good day of riding and finished the stage in the 17th position, 9 minutes from the winner. "A good start, perfect day to get in the mood of the race. I have to do my best and do not take risks to stay always in the best conditions to help "Chaleco" in case he needs it" said Farres.
Alex Zanotti arrived in the 27th position. The Italian had a small problem with the brake that couldn´t reach the bottom. "There were lots of dust and I didn´t want to risk anything. Then, I had a problem with the rear brake, so I decided to ride prudently."
Joan Barreda fell at a high speed and was injured on the arm. He is now in the Medical Center for a checkup. The race didn´t have a good start for Alain Duclos. The French-Malian rider torn the back wheel and hasn´t left the timed section yet.
2011/01/02 | 22:54 CET | ARTICLE: MR/BAUER