Tambacounda to Dakar Connection: 124 km - Special: 225 km - Connection: 227 km Total: 576 km Bike: Jean De Azevedo (BRE - KTM Petrobras -- winner) - 5 For the last day of the race, it was a hard stage. There were a lot of parallel trails and I...
Tambacounda to Dakar
Connection: 124 km - Special: 225 km - Connection: 227 km
Total: 576 km
Jean De Azevedo (BRE - KTM Petrobras -- winner) - 5
For the last day of the race, it was a hard stage. There were a lot of parallel trails and I had to pay close attention to the road book. I started 10th this morning and caught up on 5 other bikers. Then I drove alone for almost 140 km. I wanted to make the most of my driving as I had done every day. Since the beginning of the rally when I lost all my options of being in the top 5, I focused on the day-to-day racing of each stage. It's my second stage victory on the Dakar after the one of 2005. I am very happy and proud too because I am the only Brazilian to have won something on the Dakar.
Chris Blais (USA -- KTM -- 4th) - 9
It's good to be in Dakar. It's just awesome to see the sea after so many days in the desert. I am happy this is over. Today, I took my time. On km 56, Cyril Despres who was in front of me made a navigation error. I found the right trail right away, but then he caught up with me. The initial goal was to be in the top 3 but as we saw, in the Dakar, you never know what will happen until the race is actually over.
Cyril Despres (FRA -- KTM Gauloises -- 5th) - 2
I am not overly impressed by being first in the overall rankings because since the beginning of the rally I have been taking things as they came. Today I still wasn't quite sure I would have a good day because I had lost a lot of time in the same stage last year. But this time the road book was perfect; I did not get it wrong once. I can't say I'm totally relieved as there is still a small stretch tomorrow. But once you've gone such a long way, you pay attention to everything. I recall Fabrizio (Meoni) telling me that the Dakar was really over when the bike was in the lock park after the very last special stage. It's also what Marc (Coma) told me yesterday after his accident. I'm starting to believe them both.
David Casteu (FRA -- KTM Gauloises -- 6th) - 8
The day was crazy. I did not have a single problem in the whole rally and today, it started in the connection already; I almost collided into a donkey, it was a very close call. Then I realized that the gas feeder pipe was ripped off. I was in total panic. I managed to repair and I had the luck of hearing that the special stage had been postponed by half-an-hour. If it hadn't been the case, I would have lost my second place. I've always been a lucky guy.
Stephane Peterhansel (FRA -- Mitsubishi -- 11th) - 302
This was a very stressful stage because we only had 11' lead and I knew they could be lost easily. Last year, I had lost quite a bit of time on this one-before-last stage so I was very careful. It's very tricky to find the right pace. Fortunately everything went well this time.
Carlos Sainz (ESP - VW -- Winner) - 303
We didn't have any navigation problems or technical issues. A nice stage, which is also my fifth victory this year, one more than last year. I have one more Dakar year behind me but there are two important things to mention this year: the work done by Volkswagen so we could have a more competitive car and the road book which was much more precise this year.
Luc Alphand (FRA -- Mitsubishi -- 7th) - 300
It was a rather good day: we managed to keep both our positions in the overall rankings and the presence of both cars at the top. We are now in Dakar; it's a good result for me personally and for the team.
Carlos Sousa (POR - VW -- 3rd) - 313
We did not try to win. Even if I believe we could have made it. We drove 50 km behind Mark Miller; we couldn't overtake him because of the dust. But it's trivial. This was my best Dakar ever, so I am very happy.
Jean-Louis Schlesser (FRA - Schles/Ford -- 9th) - 310
Given the tough times we had, this Dakar was a good one. Being in the top 3 with only one car in the race is really great. We were alone against the others. But I still have a bit of regrets because I had jack problems three times. I hope this result will give us a new boost but looking for sponsors is a tough race too.
Philippe Jacquot (FRA - Man -- Winner)
It was a nice, fast, exceptional stage but there were way too many trees. I started 7th. We drove in the dust. When I caught up with Hans (Stacey), he signaled me to overtake him and go for it. At one point, my GPS said we had to make a U-turn because we were entering a village. Then we only drove in heading and it was a good move I think. I am happy because today I chose my tire pressure well, so my driving was much more precise.
Ales Loprais (RTC - Tatra -- 2nd)
We lost 5 minutes in a village before getting back on the right track. So we pushed the truck as we didn't know where Van Ginkel was and our lead over him in the overall rankings in only a few minutes. We also hit the bottom of a tree with the left rear wheel. We lost a bit of air in the tire but we could make do till the end of the special stage. It's a great result.
Andre de Azevedo (BRE - Tatra -- 3rd)
Today my brother finished first in the bike stage. I am third in my category. It's a good day for us. In today's stage, I had a few problems because I didn't have much brake left from the 150th km onwards more or less. So I could not drive at full speed when it was possible. I am happy because I'm finishing my 20th Dakar, my 9th in a truck, on a good note.