|SA-Dakar: Attack of Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez interrupted on stage 3.|
The Dakar enters the red zone in this third stage, approaching the Bolivian border by the Andes Mountains. A stage of 752 km and a special section of 521 km divided in two by a neutralization of 170 km. Grounds start to become rougher, big red canyons and gravel before reaching a forest belt in the second part of the stage.
Chaleco started 4th this morning and reached Cyril Despres, who was out of the race track. Then, he launched an attack to get Marc Coma, also out of the road. Unfortunately, a stone hit the fuel adaptor at km 126 and he lost all what was left in the front tanks. The rider lost about ten minutes to find gas and rode taking care of it after the incident.
Chaleco arrived only in the 13th position, 13 minutes from Coma, today´s stage winner. The Chilean is now 7th overall, 18 minutes away from the provisional leader Cyril Despres.
"Today I decided to attack and everything was going well, I overtook Despres and I started to get closer to Marc Coma. At a point the bike stopped and I remembered a stone hitting the connection of the front tank. It´s sad, because today it should have been a positive day" said the Chilenean.
Hard journey also for Alain Duclos. The French-Malian rider started fast this morning, after yesterday´s great performance, but fell. He joined the finish line in the 17th position, even though he had to lower his pace.
Gerard Farrés finished the timed section right after Duclos. He faced a GPS problem, which did not indicate the way point direction, and made him lost about 10 minutes. "My GPS didn´t work well, it didn´t show me the way point passage and I think I was out of the race track. When I saw that there was a problem with it I continued, but I lost 10 minutes. Anyways, everything was o.k. and it´s only the third day. The important thing is to continue like this" Farrés said.
There is no news from Alex Zanotti at the moment. The Italian accumulated a delay at each passage control. But he is not the only one still on the track, there have been a delay in the stage and many riders have not arrived to the bivouac at this time.
2011/01/04 | 22:52 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/BAUER