Dakar: Stage 10 Kiffa to Kayes quotes

Stage 10: Kiffa to Kayes January 10, 2006 Connection 1 km - Special 283 km - Connection 49 km Total 333 km Moto: Cyril Despres (FRA - KTM - 2nd of the overall) "This kind of neutralised stage is always very strange. Everyone rides thinking...

Stage 10: Kiffa to Kayes
January 10, 2006
Connection 1 km - Special 283 km - Connection 49 km
Total 333 km

Moto:

Cyril Despres (FRA - KTM - 2nd of the overall)
"This kind of neutralised stage is always very strange. Everyone rides thinking about what happened. That's why I decided to speed up a bit not to think too much nor to fall asleep. In the first kilometres we rode in a bunch since I had not prepared my roadbook and I wanted to relax my wrist. I was happy just to follow the group. My tendonitis hurts me much less than in the past days. On the other hand, my shoulder hurts me a bit more today. But it is not surprising since I try and take less pain killers."

Giovanni Sala (ITA - KTM - 3rd of the overall)
"It was a strange stage. But that's life. Actually it was not an easy stage. Luckily, the organisers gave us a secret code to have an access to all the GPS points, since some of the passages were not easy to find. It has been a difficult day for me since my hand still hurts. The doctor says I am strong as a bull, but I don't know how I could bear it without the pain killers. Above all, the course was not made for me today: too many stones and I feel more at ease in the sand."

Carlo De Gavardo (CHI - KTM - 5th)
"It is very very hard. It's my fourth friend to die that way. And I knew three of the families. It is very hard for a rider to see that death may catch you on the track in a second, to see that it is part of our job and that entire families can lose someone like this. We can talk about regulations, penalties and so on, but it is not the point. Andy died yesterday, I don't feel well at all, I don't feel myself in the race."

Pal-Anders Ullevalseter (NOR - KTM - 4th of the overall)
"It's sh..., and that's it. Riding today was really not easy. Above all, we all knew that Andy was one of the safest and cleverest riders. It is a new proof that bad things may happen anytime, anywhere, and above all, to anyone. From time to time, we all think about the risks when we ride at maximum speed or on some technically demanding passages. So it is just a matter of bad luck.

Concerning the race, the good point of riding today's stage in a liaison, is that it has been a good training for tomorrow's special which is said to be very tough. Even today I lost myself among all the tracks and crossroads. And, with all these trees along the track... Anyway, we'll see tomorrow."

Car:

Stephane Peterhansel (FRA - Mitsubishi - 3rd)
"Now the tracks have changed. They are narrow and full of traps, with many trees on each side. If you drive safely, there is no problem, but as soon as you attack, there is a real risk of crashing off the track. Luc's crash was definitely not his fault. It could have happened to anyone. Actually it will let me breathe a bit since until now it was very tight between the two of us. However, nothing is done yet. I wouldn't like to be on my own I the race lead since, in case of trouble, there would be no Mitsubishi behind to support me. I don't think the positions will be frozen. Luc will have to defend his second place, so will I for my first place. Anyway, we all will have to attack until the end if we wan t to be on the podium. And the icing on the cake would be to see Nani join us on the podium."

Carlos Sainz (SPA -- VW -- 1st)
"After three difficult days for the team, it is a pleasure to come back in front of the race. And this stage victory is always good to seize. But above all, I am very pleased to offer this gift to my mechanics who made a great job yesterday night so that I could be in the race today. About the stage itself, there was a bit of dust but nothing serious compared to what we experienced in Morocco. So we really enjoyed ourselves."

Mark Miller (USA -- VW -- 4th)
"The stage was full of traps today. We really frightened ourselves in a short right turn. We almost hit a tree and scratched off our right rear view mirror. Then I stopped to help out Giniel when he had his electrical problems, but we didn't lose too much time. On the other hand, navigation was very hard, and there were many stones on the track. At least, the result is good, and we enjoyed ourselves. So it was obviously a good day."

Nani Roma (SPA- Mitsubishi - 2nd)
"It was a good special today. The pace has got faster since we left the dunes to enter much faster areas. I really had good fun. My goal is still to be on the podium in Dakar even if it is only my second Dakar in a car. I have to keep on driving at my pace, without forgetting my own limits. Since I used to be a rider, I am very sad about what happened yesterday. I didn't know Andy very well but I know that KTM team manager called him four or five times to convince him to join the team. It is very sad for his family."

Luc Alphand (FRA - Mitsubishi - 15th)
"I tried to gain ground on Stephane Peterhansel just to prove to him that I was still driving at the right pace. That was the game of the day. I had no choice but to take risks and drive fast. We hit a small tree, the wheel was damaged but I'm glad that we could repair rapidly. At the end of the stage, we limited our time loss. As for the final victory, it's over. I just want to keep my second overall position. I'm not angry, just disappointed. But I have no regret in attacking today. I agree that I made a mistake but everything is ok compared with yesterday's motorbike race."

Benoit Rousselot (Fra - Toyota - 1er Production)
"It was hard. Last night we had not slept since only got to the bivouac at 8 am. In fact, we broke something on the car and had to wait for the assistance truck for more than 6 hours, and once he arrived, it only took us ten minutes two fix it. I am very dispointed since every since collapsed in one day. It is a pity since the car was OK. And now, we can make all the scratches, it is useless.

Truck:

Hans Stacey (HOL -- Man - 1st)
"I took the start this morning to win the stage and gain ground on Chagin. But he was also very fast today and I couldn't make the big difference I wished. Anyway, the battle is exciting in the truck race. After more than 300 kilometres, there is less than 2 minutes between us. Yesterday, there was less than 50 seconds. I am a competitor, and I really enjoy myself. It was good for us and for the rally as well. Today, we only had one problem: The road book mentioned a passage the truck could not negotiate. We lost a bit of time, but it was nothing. Actually, the organisation offered a wonderful stage today."

Vladimir Chagin (RUS - Kamaz - 3rd)
"The stage was very difficult today because of narrow and woody tracks. Trucks in competition are basically too large for this. We had to be especially careful. Since I'm three hours ahead of Stacey, I can afford losing time. Therefore I have the same strategy as Peterhansel, I don't take any risk and let my opponents try to catch up with me. For instance, I let Stacey gain 20 minutes today but he's still quite far from me. I only worry about the last big stage between Labe and Tambacounda. That's where Kamaz lost the rally in 1996. We will be more careful than ever. Anyway, I'm really proud of my truck because we never had technical issues since the start".

-dakar.com-

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