|SA-Dakar: Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez escapes from the dust as fourth.|
Fourth place for Francisco Lopez in Dakar´s second stage. Farres is sixteenth and Duclos nineteenth after starting far behind this morning. Zanotti is thirty third and Barreda is forced to leave the race. The landscape reminds of the savanna while we are approaching the Andes Mountains.
The special of the day was dusty, but not much navigation was required. For this reason, "Chaleco", who started in the seventh position this morning, found himself in a dust cloud when he reached Street and Conçalves, so it took him time to overtake. Also, avoided an accident with a horse, and even after all that, he reached the fourth position of the stage, only four minutes behind today´s winner Cyril Despres.
A great start for the Dakar, even if the Chilean has decided to go smoothly, waiting for the grounds where he can do his best, the Atacama desert, and most of all, the long stages coming up. Overall, Lopez is fourth, 6:41 minutes behind Cyril Despres.
"Today it was a fast stage, not much of navigation" said Lopez. "I had a hard time overtaking Street and stood in his dust for about 30 km. Anyways it has been a great start, the bike goes very well and I can´t wait for the sand, were our engine will be in advantage. The important thing is to go day by day. Tomorrow there will be a long special section, and we will get in to real action."
Gerard Farres has ridden in perfection, a perfect balance of speed and safety, not so far from his leader. The Catalonian is sixteenth of the day.
Alex Zanotti is thirtieth. San Marino´s rider had still some problems with the brake and couldn´t find the right rhythm, while Joan Barreda had a black day. The young Spaniard fell of the bike at a high speed and was obligated to abandon. "A little after the start of the timed section, I was in lack of oil in my front brake, so the bike almost didn´t break. That´s why I had to race anticipating everything, to avoid getting out of the road" Zanotti told.
Tomorrow, competitors will head to San Salvador de Jujuy for the fourth stage. 752 km from San Miguel de Tucuman to San Salvador de Jujuy, and 521 of them will compose the timed section of the third stage.
2011/01/04 | 13:09 CET | ARTICLE: MR/BAUER