Cars Stephane Peterhansel (Fra -- Mit, 9th) - 306 "This stage was a little bit boring with many uninteresting bumps because too high. We had to brake before each bump. Added to that, the sand was so soft, that we couldn't drive really fast, only...
Stephane Peterhansel (Fra -- Mit, 9th) - 306
"This stage was a little bit boring with many uninteresting bumps because too high. We had to brake before each bump. Added to that, the sand was so soft, that we couldn't drive really fast, only an average of 70 km/h. That was very frustrating. In fact, it was a little merry-go-round on the beach, but the spectators made things funnier. Now my schedule is to go to sleep very early, because of all the accumulated tire in Spain and that could be a handicap for the rest of the race. Except from that, everything is going well and we can feel a big motivation in all the team. That's great!"
Hiroshi Masuoka (Jap -- Mit, 2nd) - 309
"On this kind of stage, you have everything to lose, especially with the high bumps, very sharp and tricky. Moreover, someone stole my helmet last night, and the new one wasn't perfectly adapted to me. But I think this problem will be sorted out for the next stage in Granada".
Luc Alphand (Fra -- Mit, 5th) - 312
"I had a lot of pressure on my shoulders because, for this stage I was driving my first kilometres for Mitsubishi, but now I'm relieved. This first stage was great, eventhough we're impatient to be in Africa. Anyway... on this kind of stage, the most important is not to lose a lot of time."
Robby Gordon (USA -- VW, 1st) - 317
"Really it wasn't an easy stage at all, because of the softness of the sand on the course, especially after the jumps. But, I achieved good jump landings, and everything went well. I was very excited before the start, and it was a great moment with all the spectators. The Race-Touareg is really a wonderful car, and most importantly, all the team has welcomed me in a fantastic way. It's a great opportunity for me to be here, and I know it."
Joan " Nani " Roma (Spa -- Mit, 23e) - 320
"It was a very difficult stage, very complicated, especially for the cars because the design of the track was done for the bikes. Added to that, I was disturbed by Philippe Gache's car, who was stopped in the middle of the track. In fact, that was my mistake: I was surprised because in the bike category, when you have a mechanical problem, you should give way as quickly as possible. But of course, it's not as easy with a car. Anyway, I had decided to drive carefully for this first stage. You know, you can't win the Dakar on the first stage, but you can lose it. Then, I wanted to share my feelings with all the spectators. It's amazing how the Spanish people are living each kind of event with passion."
Cyril Despres (Fra - KTM, 2nd) - 002
"It was a very good stage, perfect for a beginning. It was a great pleasure, for me especially, because I hadn't ridden since one month & a half, so it was wonderful to get back on the motorcycle. The stage reminds me the Touquet Enduro, so I knew the good rhythm to ride. The Spanish spectators were also very hot, so it was fun. For the remaining part of the race , I'm ready to go. I feel very aggressive because I know that we've got a very good package. The win of David doesn't surprise me at all, because we knew he could be very dangerous during the first part of the race, in Europe and Morocco. Now, my schedule is to have a nice "New Year's eve" celebration. But ten minutes after midnight, I'll go to sleep..."
Isidre Esteve Pujol (Esp -- KTM, 10th) - 007
"It was a very special feeling for me, very different of the other years, because it was the only occasion for me to ride in front of all the people I love. My family was here, as well as my friends from my moto-club. But the stage was very hard, very tricky. It was easy to make mistakes. So I tried to be as cool as possible, but I took pleasure. The feeling with the spectators was absolutely great. But, as everybody knows, the real start of the Dakar is in Africa, not in Spain..."
David Fretigne (Fra - Yam, 1st) - 012
"I've done a very good stage, very clean... My first goal was not to fall, so I chose to ride carefully. In fact, I didn't know the sand would be so soft, with big ruts. So, the track was very tricky, and it was so easy to do big mistakes, especially at jump landings. But I managed a good job I think, even if I had to overtake some competitors at the end of the stage, and that was very tricky too. I didn't use the two wheels traction for this stage. In fact, I don't really think I'll use it before Mauritania".
Daniel Prunier (Fra -- Mercedes, 37th) - 504
"This stage was very tricky, so I drove really carefully. Last year, I did a big mistake during the first stage, because I broke the clutch in an accident with another competitor. So, this year, I did my best to avoid this kind of bad event. So, I tried to protect the engine just as much as the truck."
Miki Biasion (Ita - Iveco, 26th) - 517
"We hadn't any problems today. I drove very carefully, but my feelings were perfect. But it's in Africa that I really will know what to expect from the race."
Gerard De Rooy (Hol -- DAF, 5th) - 521
"This stage was great, although the track was very slow and tricky. But the race hasn't already started, we have to wait for Africa. There's no rule between my father and I. Both Our major goals are to get to Dakar. In fact, I don't mind witch one of us will be the first to make it."