Dakar: Stage 14 Tambacounda to Dakar notes

Stage 14: Tambacounda to Dakar January 14, 2006 Connection 107 km - Special 254 km - Connection 273 km Total 634 km Westward bound Along the Senegalese tracks, co-drivers will once again be on call. The special is longer than last year's and ...

Stage 14: Tambacounda to Dakar
January 14, 2006
Connection 107 km - Special 254 km - Connection 273 km
Total 634 km

Westward bound
Along the Senegalese tracks, co-drivers will once again be on call. The special is longer than last year's and numerous changes in direction might lead those who are not focused up the wrong road. In other words, there are still minutes up for grabs or which can be lost. After an attractive liaison stretch, entry into Dakar will take in a tranquil tour of Senegalese villages.

General:

07:42 - Avoid mistakes
The journey through Senegal from east to west is both a Dakar classic and a difficult exercise, especially for the co-drivers. Team spirit will be important in the crews. The numerous changes of direction will force the drivers to be very reactive. At the finish of the special, in Thiès, the riders will gather for a tribute to Fabrizio Meoni, at the place where the foundation he had created will soon open a school for agriculture and arts and crafts.

If the gaps look sufficient for the overall leaders of the three main categories, Marc Coma, Luc Alphand and Vladimir Chagin will make sure to take good care of their vehicles and try to avoid a stupid mistake.

Bike:

11:11 - Goncalves fastest at CP1
At km 128 of the day's special, Portugal's Paulo Goncalves has the fastest time. The Honda biker has a 32" lead over compatriot Helder Rodrigues on a Yamaha. Third is David Fretigne (YAM) at 1'18". Overall leader Marc Coma is 3'09" adrift.

11:58 - Navigation problems for Despres
Cyril Despres suffered navigation problems 30kms after CP1, looking for the right track for about 20min. But basically, all the leading riders struggled with nav'. Sala, Street and a few others are now heading the right way.

Car:

12:03 - Roma fastest at CP1
In the car race, Nani Roma (MIT) has set the fastest time at CP1 (km 128). The Spaniard has a 37" lead on Guerlain Chicherit (BMW), 1'30" on Bruno Saby (VW). Fourth is Giniel De Villiers (VW) at 1'46". Stephane Peterhansel (MIT) is 5'09" adrift while overall leader Luc Alphand (MIT) is at 5'31". The Frenchman therefore loses 3'45" on his main rival De Villiers.

Bike:

12:21 - Coma finds the right way; fastest at CP2
Overall leader Marc Coma proved to be the smartest on the way to CP2 (km 203) finding the correct way while all the other favourites struggled with navigation. Coma is riding alongside David Fretigne. The Spaniard has the fastest time with an 8" lead on Fretigne. The gaps are becoming huge at the check point. Only five riders have made it. Chris Blais for example is 25'50" adrift.

12:25 - Big time loss for Despres
Title holder Cyril Despres who was lost after CP1 has made it to the second check point (km 207) losing 43'38" on overall leader Marc Coma.

Car:

12:28 - Alphand and De Villiers lost
30 kilometres after CP1, overall leader Luc Alphand (MIT), his main rival Giniel De Villiers (VW) and Carlos Sainz (VW) have all taken a wrong track and have lost time due to a navigation mistake. On the other hand Nani Roma (MIT), fastest at CP1 and Bruno Saby (VW) have found the good way.

Bike:

12:31 - Fretigne wins special
Frenchman David Fretigne clinched his first special success of the rally. Riding alongside overall leader Marc Coma, they were the only favourites not to get lost on the way to CP2. The Yamaha biker crossed the finish line with a 33" lead on Coma. All the others are still expected at the end of the special.

Car:

12:46 - De Villiers gains time on Alphand
Two cars have made it so far at CP2 (km 207): Giniel De Villiers (VW) and overall leader Luc Alphand (MIT). The South African has a 4'44" lead over the Frenchman. The two race leaders are driving together.

Bike:

12:51 - Despres loses time at finish
Title holder and current second overall, Cyril Despres has finally made it to the finish line. The Frenchman was 42'46" slower then the day's winner David Fretigne. Despres is now 1h13' adrift of overall leader Marc Coma.

Car:

13:04 - Chicherit fastest at CP2
At CP2, Guerlain Chicherit (BMW) has the new fastest time. The BMW driver has a 2'15" advantage on team mate Alfie Cox. Third is Mark Miller (VW) at 4'39, followed by Schlesser at 9'21". Second overall, Giniel de Villiers (VW) is 9'44" adrift while overall leader Luc Alphand (MIT) is at 14'28"

13:09 - De Villiers gains time
On the finish line of the day's special, Giniel De Villiers (VW) has gained 4'20" on overall leader Luc Alphand (MIT). Only two cars have made it so far. In the new overall standing Alphand has a 17'53" lead over the South African.

13:24 - Chicherit wins first ever special
Frenchman Guerlain Chicherit captured his first ever special on a Dakar. The BMW driver beat team mate Alfie Cox by 3'13". Third was Mark Miller (VW) at 5'07".

Truck:

14:28 - Kabirov wins special
Title holder Firdaus Kabirov stopped Hans Stacey's winning run. The Russian clocked the fastest time of the day's stage beating Hans Stacey by 2'57". Third was Andre De Azevedo at 4'13". Overall leader Vladimir Chagin finished 12'20" adrift but keeps a comfortable race lead of 2h21'...

General:

20:32 - Press Release
Because of the dramatic events of the last two days, the final stage Dakar - Dakar, taking the competitors to the podium at Lac Rose, will not be timed.

-dakar.com-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Mark Miller , Carlos Sainz , Luc Alphand , Stéphane Peterhansel , Giniel de Villiers , Fabrizio Meoni , Cyril Despres , Alfie Cox , Bruno Saby , Nani Roma , Marc Coma , David Fretigne , Guerlain Chicherit , Chris Blais , Vladimir Chagin , Firdaus Kabirov , Paulo Goncalves , Hans Stacey , Helder Rodrigues