|SA-Dakar: Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez starts going up after fifth stage in Chile.|
The Chilenean Biker Francisco "Chaleco" López starts feeling home and when the game becomes hard, he takes the right direction. "Chaleco" started 3rd from Calama´s bivouac and after overtaking Marc Coma (who fell), he joined Cyril Despres, at the refueling. Both riders run together for the second part of the stage, taking turns to open the road.
The stage win goes to Paulo Gonçalves, and Lopez is second, followed by Verhoeven, Coma and Despres. The Chilean rider reduces the gap from the two KTM riders; he stays third, but 18 minutes from Coma, and only 8 from Despres.
"It was a hard stage, lots of navigation, mostly at the end. It was difficult to find all way points, and from here, it will be more and more complicated. The bike went well, and after joining Cyril Despres at the refueling, we exchanged the lead of the stage until the end" said Lopez after the stage.
For Alain Duclos, it was the day of adjustments: Yesterday he changed the engine and in a technical stage like today, he preferred to take care of the bike and his physical condition, to be able to help Chaleco in case of need. He marked the 15th time of the day.
"Yesterday I changed the engine, so in the first part I didn´t wanted to demand too much to it. Then, I raised the rhythm, but always safely because I see that my race is compromised. I would like to be able to help Chaleco and all Aprilia Team" Duclos said.
Gerard Farres took longer to finish the timed section due to a fuel pump problem and crossed the line in the 28th place.
Alex Zanotti, started 100th this morning, was able to carry a stage without problems. The Italian overtook about sixty riders on his way. He arrives to Iquique in the 39th place, and will be able to start in a better position tomorrow. "To start so far behind is a nightmare. Today I don´t know how many riders I overtook, and with quads in front of you, it is almost impossible (to see anything). I fell two times in the dust because I lowered my pace and, as I couldn´t see, I lost orientation."
2011/01/07 | 15:48 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/BAUER