Duclos on his way to Lima
Team Giofil Aprilia Racing has decided to continue the Dakar with its only remaining rider. Alain Duclos will continue with his Aprilia RXV 4.5 in the race.
ANTOFAGASTA – After the rest day, the Dakar 2012 is back on race tracks to the north with the eighth stage between Copiapo and Antofagasta, the mining city in front of the Pacific Ocean.
The menu of the day included the longest stage, highly demanding at a physical level. The stage shook the overall classification and Coma took back the lead over Despres. A problem at kilometer 11, a mud pool where the first riders were trapped while trying to cross it, made the race direction take the following decision: give back the time lost in this issue. This, because the riders behind had less troubles going through it.
Alain Duclos, the only Aprilia rider still in the race after the retirement of Francisco López , took back the race today. The French-Malian rider arrived late to the bivouac after finding serial problems in stage 7. Fuel tank, fairing and saddle were part of it, and made him leave from the special stage after 2 a.m.
This morning he started from Copiapo in the 22nd place due to his possibility given to “elite” riders to change their starting place. But in this very hard day, mainly off road, Duclos felt the tiredness from the first half of the Dakar and for this reason did not pushed too hard and took the 20th position, half an hour behind the stage winner, Marc Coma.
As overall standings are no longer an issue, Alain and Giofil Aprilia Racing will continue the race to test new technical solutions and acquire important information concerning the bike behavior in extreme conditions.
Tomorrow, the ninth stage of the race will take the caravan to Iquique, the duty free zone in Northern Chile. The special stage is divided in two sections, of 340 and 90 kilometers, and will finish in the famous descend from the dunes to the Pacific Ocean.
Alain Duclos: “I felt tiredness arrive after seven sages, and plus the road connection today at the beginning… I almost fell asleep. Today´s stage was hard, mostly by the off road and the stones. For that, I did not feel like forcing too much, because also my main goal is to arrive to Lima.”