Dakar: Repsol teams stage 16 report

Mitsubishi and Repsol win the Dakar 2005 Peterhansel and Alphand achieved an excellent one-two finish with Roma in sixth place Marc Coma takes an outstanding second place in motorbikes and Esteve finishes fourth The extraordinary one-two ...

Mitsubishi and Repsol win the Dakar 2005

Peterhansel and Alphand achieved an excellent one-two finish with Roma in sixth place

Marc Coma takes an outstanding second place in motorbikes and Esteve finishes fourth

The extraordinary one-two finish of Stéphane Peterhansel and Luc Alphand, has given the victory of the Dakar 2005 to Mitsubishi and Repsol. The last stage was raced normally around Lake Rose and the success of the team lead by Dominique Serieys has been complete in this edition: In addition to the first and second place, there is the meritorious sixth position of Nani Roma in his debut in the car class. Mitsubishi achieved thus its tenth victory of the African race and Repsol its first in the car class after the one achieved last year in motorbikes.

Cyril Despres took this year's victory in the bike class, ahead of Marc Coma, Alfie Cox and Isidre Esteve who has been just about to get a place on the podium. Coma managed to get a brilliant second place in his fourth participation in the Dakar.

In the truck class, Jordi Juvanteny, José Luis Criado and Francesc Pardo finished fifteenth in the overall standings, taking once again the victory in the 6-to-8-wheel production vehicle category.

Marc Coma: "We've tried to enjoy the last stage, a nice stage with a lot of spectators. It's been a hard way until we got here. Yesterday's standings were finally confirmed and I'm very happy. IF they had told me that I was going to finish second right at the start I would have agreed immediately. We've been lucky and we've achieved our aims, although suffering a lot after all we've gone through. This is the award for a very hard working year. Now I want to take a rest because we're psychologically and physically tired. After the rest we'll start to work hard again looking forward to next year's rally".

Isidre Esteve: "I'm happy with today's stage because I was one and a half second from the podium. I managed to make up one minute, but I would have needed twenty seconds more to get on the podium. Anyway, I'm happy because we reached the finish of a race where so many things have happened. We've had very hard moments and the most important is that we managed to get here, with a wonderful atmosphere and with Marc Coma in second position. I want to congratulate him for the result. Now we have to leave everything that has happened behind and think about the future. I just want to have some days of rest to restart working with new strength".

Jordi Arcarons: "I want to congratulate the riders of our team. Marc for his second place and Isidre for his fourth. The result probably doesn't reflect all they have done during the race and what they could have done because they have suffered. They've had problems they've been able to solve and they've always been among the best.

Marc has been superb and he could have won the race. He was capable of doing it and was very self-confident, not a single crash, taking care of the bike perfectly well and following our plans to the last detail. Esteve had more problems. He was a bit behind in Morocco and he had a hard time trying to overtake other riders in the dusty sections. But despite being behind, he managed to get back to the front when he could. He had a problem with the fuel and he managed to solve it, although he lost some time. They've both made a fantastic race. Fabrizio's crash was however a big shock for them and the race was over from that moment on.

Nani Roma: "I'm happy about how everything worked out, how the race finished and especially about my personal evolution from the start to the finish. The car has worked perfectly well and the team has taken the victory, and that's the most important. The best memory is being able to cover kilometres in Africa learning a lot with an outstanding car.

Obviously what we would want to forget is the fact of having lost two friends such as El Carni and Fabrizio, a dear friend of mine. His death will be very hard to forget, but that is the hard side of the race. Life goes on and we all know what we are here for. As regards the next races, it is too early to think about the victory. I think that I'll be in good conditions for it in 2007".

Stéphane Peterhansel: "I was very nervous this morning. It was only a small stage, but it is never easy and anything can and sometimes does happen. This was a big victory for me. It was harder than last year. The race was difficult and the difference between myself and Luc was much smaller than my winning margin last year. That shows that it was a great race right to the end."

Luc Alphand: "I have a fantastic feeling. The team was perfect. I am working with the best in the world. The goal was a podium, but this is the biggest second position of my life. The work level and professionalism of everyone has been astonishing".

-repsol-

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Series DAKAR