First news from Dakar stage 11

First news from Dakar stage 11

14.01.2016: Dakar Rally 2016 January 14th - stage 11 - 431km La Rioja to San Juan

Dakar Rally 2016
January 14th - stage 11 - 431km
La Rioja to San Juan

9:21 : Motos: Price takes the lead

At the first Way Point (after 50 km) Toby Price, the leader of the general standings, has been the quickest of the top 3. He leads Svitko, his nearest pursuer in the general standings, by 34 seconds. Clearly, the Australian is trying to catch up with the Slovak before perhaps basing his pace on that of his adversary.

08:55 : Bikes: Svitko on the move

The bikes have started the special, with yesterday’s winner, Slovakia’s Stefan Svitko, kicking off proceedings at 8.35 AM local time, to tackle the 430 kilometre special.

08:52 : Cars: Vatanen’s record still safe from Peterhansel

With his new triumph yesterday and his third on this edition, Stéphane Peterhansel has given the statisticians a little more work. The Frenchman has improved his own record of the largest amount of stage victories, with a total of 68 successes, including 35 in a car

.Already the record holder for overall triumphs on a bike (six) and in a car (five), Peter only has one sole rival in the Dakar’s historical roll of honour: Ari Vatanen. The four times winner from Finland still has the record for the most stage wins in a car, with 50 successes. This record should last a few years more…

08:29 : Delayed start

Due to the helicopters being severely tested yesterday in locating and providing assistance to competitors in difficulty in the around Fiambala, the rally’s aircraft were unable to reach the starting point of today’s stage before night-fall yesterday.

For obvious safety reasons, the start of the stage has been delayed until all the resources that make up the air cover are operational.

08:17 : Cars: Reina all on her own…

Although all the ladies present in the bike and quad categories are still in the race, the situation in the car category is, however, less flattering. Indeed, out of the three to start in Buenos Aires, only Alicia Reina remains. The Argentinean driver, on her third Dakar, currently occupies 68th position.

08:14 : The special will start at 8 AM local time

The start of the day’s special will take place imminently. A hotly contested battle is expected in the bike category. The fight for the third place on the podium, which will probably be the focus of most attention, involves the riders Quintanilla, Meo and Benavides, who are within a bracket of less than three minutes.

 At the top of the general standings, Toby Price still has a relatively comfortable lead over Stefan Svitko. However, on the Dakar 23 minutes can be lost quite quickly. What’s more, in light of the possible pitfalls on today’s special, surprises could be in store.

07:48 : Bikes: a matter of minutes for Meo

Following the new penalty received by Paulo Gonçalves, the general standings in the bike category have changed, bringing Antoine Meo a little nearer to the podium.

Now lying in fourth, the KTM rider is only 1’15’’ behind Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) and leads Kevin Argentinean Kevin Benavides (Honda) by a mere 1’06’’. This means that the Frenchman is going to have to keep it tight on today’s stage… but does the old saying not say that attack is the best form of defence?

07:44 : The bikes are approaching the start

Having set out along the link section early today, the bikes are nearing the start of the day’s special. The programme for the timed section includes 430 kilometres for the 91 bikers and 31 quad riders still left in the rally.

07:40 : Bikes: another penalty for Gonçalves

Finally, for Paulo Gonçalves the Dakar 2016 has been one of false hopes and disappointments. Re-integrated into the race the day before yesterday due to the premature finish of the stage, the official Honda leader, thanks to this providential helping hand, held on to third place in the general standings.

After a good special yesterday (fourth, 6 minutes behind the day’s winner) he even gained time over his nearest pursuer in the general standings. Unfortunately for him, the race officials handed out a new fifty minute penalty, almost surely killing his hopes of a podium finish in Rosario.

Only allowed to stop 15 minutes at CP2 on the stage 9 special, the Portuguese rider spent more than one hour there trying to repair the hole in the radiator of his Honda

07:25 : Bikes: Adrien Van Beveren, a damned good rookie

Whilst Antoine Meo is having an excellent first Dakar (4th in the general standings this morning), another French rider is also enjoying a superb debut on the 38th Dakar: Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha), currently in 10th position.

The two times winner of the Enduropal du Touquet again made an impact yesterday with the ninth best time, only 6 minutes behind his team-leader Helder Rodrigues, on the most difficult stage of the 2016 edition.

 The man from Hazebrouk is walking in the footsteps of Jean Claude Olivier, a legendary figure on the African Dakar rallies and head of the Yamaha brand in France for more than 30 years. He could be a new addition to lineage of excellent Gallic riders such as Bacou, Merel, Picard, Magnaldi, Castera, Frétigné and of course Peterhansel and his record 6 victories on a bike.

06:29 : Trucks: second stage success for Renault on the Dakar

Thanks to the surprise and late victory yesterday evening by Pascal De Baar, Renault has picked up another special win on the Dakar. This result enables the French brand to join Mercedes and Hino in the roll of honour.

 As a reminder, the record for stage victories has long been the stronghold of the Kamaz team, with 114 triumphs ahead of (33) and Iveco (22) (figures up until the end of the Dakar 2015).

06:25 : Bikes: clarifications on X. De Soultrait’s exit

Whilst unfortunately the outcome remains the same for the Frenchman, Xavier De Soultrait withdrew from the race not after assisting the constructor’s official rider Botturi, but because he had mechanical problems. In fact, it was the Italian who, seeing the Frenchman in trouble, stopped to help. The two riders were working with pieces from both bikes and the observers present who reported what had happened were obviously confused by this toing and froing.

17:30 : La Rioja–San Juan

Yesterday's stage was definitely not one for the faint-hearted, and today's stage can appear deceptively easy in comparison. It features a sand-heavy menu with a side offering of fesh-fesh.

The fastest competitors will be able to pull out all the stops on the straights, but the 712 km in today's programme, including a 431 km special, are anything but a joyride. The outsiders will attack and the leaders will keep an eye on them. There could be more surprises on the road to San Juan.

- ASO -


14.01.2016 / MaP

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