Dakar: Stage 14 Tambacounda to Dakar quotes

Stage 14: Tambacounda to Dakar January 14, 2006 Connection 107 km - Special 254 km - Connection 273 km Total 634 km Bike: David Fretigne (FRA -- Yamaha -- 1er) "This morning, I wanted to show what I was capable of after all the problems I have...

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

Bike:

David Fretigne (FRA -- Yamaha -- 1er)
"This morning, I wanted to show what I was capable of after all the problems I have had since Morocco. I had to attack and feel more self assured. I have been feeling better for the past three days. Today I made the good navigation choices, except one mistake which coasted me about two minutes. I had to ride at a good pace. I win with a very tiny advantage, but I am happy since I finish my Dakar on a good stage. Tomorrow, I'll try and win another stage at the Lac Rose, and next week I'll think about my potential for the coming races."

Marc Coma (ESP -- KTM -- 2nd)
"I had no major difficulty today, except the navigation which was very hard. But we managed to cop with this. Now, there is only a few kilometres to complete on the beach. It is the last one but it is important. And we will prepare it as seriously as any other one."

Frans Verhoeven (HOL - Yamaha - 5th)
"Today, I was feeling so well. I am very happy about this tresult since I had many problems this on thye rally. I changed twice the gear box. I came to enter the Top 10. Today I attacked and things went on well. Every one lost himlself and so did I. At this moment,I was with Cyril Despres. I decided to try something and left on my own. And it worked."

Gerard Farres Guell (SPA - Yamaha - 3rd)
"I am happy to be on the podium of a stage. It is good for the team Yamaha Spain. But, my good result is linked to the bad result I made yesterday. I started quite late today what helped me choose the good track. In fact, I even saw Despres and Sala coming back because they were lost. That's why I am third today. But the real reason why I am so proud, is that I reach Dakar for my first participation."

Cyril Despres (FRA -- KTM -- 43rd)
"I had another difficult day in terms of navigation. But my Mum taught me to say "I don't like spinach" instead of "Spinach are not good". So I will say that I don't like this road book. Everyting went on well until CP1, where I took the wrong track at the exit of a village. It took me ten kilometres to realize I was not on the good way. Even I should have made a u-turn, I prefered to look for an off-road short cut, not to lose too much time. I agree navigation has to be difficult, but today, it was a bit too much. There were riders every where and I almost crashed into riders hidden in the dust or coming in the invert way. It is a pity since today's stage was beautiful. At last, I easily forgot it thanks to the tribute to Fabrizio. It is wonderful what his association is doing here."

Car:

Guerlain Chicherit (FRA -- BMW -- 1st)
"At last a victory! It's great! We had been running after it for five days. Wwere not far from it three days ago when we clocked the second time in spite of a puncture, and yesterday we were first before we got off the track and damage a wheel. These morning, we stared with the idea to win. So we attacked for the whole stage, and eventualy we won. Of course, the race is not over. We have to complete the last stage tomorrow at the Lac Rose, but at least, we have already won our bet. This victory is very important for the future. THanks to it we will have time to work peacefuly and come back next year with higher ambitions."

Luc Alphand (FRA - Mitsubishi - 8th - 1st au general)
"It was a stage with many roots and trees. We got lost for about two kilomètres but I focused on following Giniel who had just overtook me a few minutes ago. It is true we have never been as close as today to a major success. But I am still focused on the race, so please don't talk about podium."

Jean-Louis Schlesser (FRA -- Schlesser-Ford -- 4th)
"Today's major difficulty was to find the waypoints. If we hadn't lost ourselves, we could have battled for victory. We also had to pay attention to all the roots hidden on each side of the track. For our team, it has been a very good rally, and two cars in the top 10 in the overall standing. But all thyis has no importance at all compared to the death of a kid. Everyone on the Dakar is aware of these risks and work as much as possible to avoid such dramas. Actually, we are all very moved by this."

Giniel De Villiers (AFS -- Volkswagen -- 5th)
"It was a great stage today but quite difficult in terms of navigation. I caught up Luc after 80 kilometres and followed him until he chose the wrong way in a village? I seized this opportunity to overtake him and a few kilometres further, we made the mistake ourselves and lost about ten minutes. Anyway, when I overtook Luc, I could see he was very nervous, and I knew he would play on regularity. Tomorrow, the last stage is mostly dedicated to the show. So the race is almost over and I really want to congratulate Luc for all he has done. Of course I had rather win but this second place is at least a good result soince we are quite close to the winner. We have prooved we could battle for victory. So we will fix a few details and will be back to win."

Alfie Cox (AFS -- BMW -- 2th)
"I am happy about this result which concludes a very frustating Dakar. But I must recognize that it was a real advantage to start 15th this morning, just behind Guerlain. Our first and second places confirm it. There was a& lot of naigation today and take benefits of the mistakes the guys ahead made. Of course, I attacked since I wanted to clock a good time after two weeks of bad luck. This morning Stephane told me : I raely start in the bunch, but must admit that oncde you are in it, it is almost impossible to find a way out. Actually, when you don't start ahead, you almost condamn your race. And if he says so... At last, for my first Dakar in a car, I have lived a strong and rich experience, so, I should not complain."

Mark Miller (USA -- Volkswagen -- 3rd)
"I knew the most important today was to reach Dakar. So I drove safely all day long on a special full of traps and very difficult in terms of navigation. In spite of all this I gain a few precious minutes on Peterhansel. And tomorrow, I'll try and attack as much as possible to get the fourth place. Anyway, I know I made a good race, but not a great race since I was focused on victory. And actually, this Dakar reminds me of an old sentence from Colorado: "Winners never quit and quiters never win." It's has never been as true as on this race. So I am proud of myself since I never gave up."

Truck:

Firdaus Kabirov (RUS - Kamaz - 1st)
"The course was not that difficult for trucks, except tracks in the woods, whick is always stressing for us. I didn't attack today because I couldn't have gained more than ten minutes on my opponents. This is not enough to get the second position at the overall ranking. I preferred to take no risk at all. Anyway, I don't care because the most important thing is that one of the Kamaz trucks wins the rally and an other is in the top three. We're going to try to have fun tomorrow."

Hans Stacey (HOL -- MAN -- 2nd)
"We made a good stage today in spite of a tiny technical detail which prevented us from attacking on the last 45 kilometres. And, the most important was to arrive in Dakar, at a good place, and show that we could be dangerous rivals for the kamaz. Ice on tye cake, my team mate Franz Echter is also in the top 10. I think we will complete the final stage together, for the show and offer this parade to our team."

Andre De Azevedo (BRE -- Tatra -- 3rd)
"As every day, we had a little problem. Today, it was a problem of brakes which prevented us from attacking. At last, with the problems of gear box we have had since Malaga, and the tree we touched yesterday, we are quite happy to be here in Dakar. And the most important on the Dakar is not winning stages but pushing yourself a bit further in spite of all the problems you have. Being in Dakar is a symbol of a personnal victory on myself. So as every time I arrive here, I am very happy. Tomorrow, I'll try to make the show and enjoy myself on a course which has always been fun."

-dakar.com

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Mark Miller , Luc Alphand , Jean-Louis Schlesser , Cyril Despres , Alfie Cox , Franz Echter , Marc Coma , David Fretigne , Guerlain Chicherit , Firdaus Kabirov , Hans Stacey , Frans Verhoeven , Gerard Farres Guell