Final stage to Lima is underway

15.01.2012: DAKAR 2012 - Argentina/ Chile / Perou Stage 14 Final January 15th, 2012 08:33 - bike 120 - Illanes, first rider out of the

DAKAR 2012 - Argentina/ Chile / Perou  Stage 14 Final  January 15th, 2012



08:33 - bike 120 - Illanes, first rider out of the special


Chile's Rodrigo Illanes (no. 120) was the first rider to finish the motorcycle special. Alain Duclos has posted the best time so far: 28'44".



08:31 - bike Coma and Despres are on their way

The last riders to start today's special, general classification leaders Marc Coma and Cyril Despres, have begun the 29-kilometre final stage. In contrast with the rest of the field, which has been starting in pairs since 7:30 am, the Top 10 will be racing alone.



08:12 - quad The quad leaders start together

Together with Tomás Maffei, Alejandro and Marcos Patronelli started today's final 29-kilometre special within a space of thirty seconds. These three men have been the stars of the race in this category, among the 12 competitors who have made it to the start of the last stage.


Let us not forget the courageous Ignacio Casale, Sergio La Fuente, Lucas Bonetto and Roverto Tonetti, who had their moments of glory in the different specials, as well as THE lady of the category, Camelia Lipatori, who should round off the Top 10 in Lima.



07:43 - bike A slight delay to the start

The motorcycles started today's 29-kilometre special at 7:30 am local time. The last riders in the overall classification will open the field in the last timed sector of the 2012 Dakar. On this occasion, competitors will start in pairs.


The start of the stage was delayed by half an hour due to low clouds which reduced the visibility of safety teams in the air.




06:16 - car The cars leave Pisco

In contrast to the motorcycles, the cars will be led by the drivers at the top of the general classification on their liaison to the start of the special, 134 kilometres down the road. Stéphane Peterhansel leads the way followed by Nani Roma and Giniel de Villiers.


This is done to ensure that the winners in the car and the motorcycle categories are together on the final podium in Peru's capital Lima at the end of today's short stage. 79 cars and 60 trucks are on the starting list for the last special.



05:13 - bike Countdown in the motorcycle category

The first motorcycle rider to set off this morning on the liaison to the start of today's special was not yesterday's winner Hélder Rodrigues, but the last one in the overall motorcycle classification. This is the traditional order for the finish in Lima of the last stage of the 2012 Dakar.


Therefore, the classification leaders will be the last pilots to climb onto the podium.


The first rider has set off on this stage, which begins with a 134-kilometre liaison to the start of today's short special (29 km) for the 98 motorcycles and 12 quads allowed to start on Sunday's stage.




13:51 A final test in Lima


The Minis, the Ivecos, the Patronelli brothers...



Although the car, truck and quad categories seem decided on paper, one must remember that the Dakar is only over once you are on the final podium. History reminds us that a rally raid of this calibre never favours those who sell their rivals' racing suits too early, especially before the chequered flag. But what about the motorcycle category?


Cyril Despres seems to have a firm grip on the classification, but it is the category with the smallest gap between the leaders. Marc Coma is a great champion and may still have some ace up his sleeve. In this short special which will decide the final classifications, drivers can savour, but not underestimate, the course and the little dunes.


Posting a good time is now almost irrelevant, and the pleasure of finishing the rally takes the centre stage. The heroes of the 2012 edition will enjoy a celebration worthy of their emotions in the centre of the capital. That is when those who have made it to the end begin to take stock of all the hard knocks experienced on the road to Lima.


They have risen to the challenge. Now they will always have the images, the feelings and the memory of an extraordinary experience.

 

- copyright ASO -

photos on automobilsport.com under PHOTOS  OFF ROAD

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15.01.2012 / MaP

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