Stage 16: Dakar to Dakar
January 16, 2005
Liaison 37 km - Special 31 km
Total 68 km
Apart from a handful of competitors capable of moving one or two places further up in the "overall" ranking and so interested in gaining a few seconds, the outcome is already decided for everyone else.
This year, the finish will renew with tradition. There will be a line-up start for the Special on the beach: in lines of twenty for bikers, in twos for cars and trucks. So be careful on the final route which runs through the dunes, followed by the traditional tour of the Lac Rose in front of the thousands of people who have congregated here to applaud their heroes! After the ceremony on the podium and the prize giving, everyone returns in procession to the hotel Meridien.
08:16 The classic of classics
To drive on the banks of the Lac Rose is the dream for any competitor starting a Dakar. The drivers and bikers of the 104 bikes, 75 cars and 37 trucks still in the rally this morning will be living their dream whether they make it for the first time or on a new occasion.his year the final special of the 2005 Telefonica Dakar will be started with 20 bikers on a starting line every minute while the cars will take off 2 by 2. The final course will be using dune portions before going around the Lac Rose in front of thousands of fans.
On a 'clockwatch' point of view, the results shouldn't change the overall standings dramatically, especially for the leaders Cyril Despres, Stephane Peterhansel and Firdaus Kabirov. However a fine performance in the bike race could help Isidre Esteve capture Alfie Cox's provisional third spot. To do so, the Spaniard will have to cross the finish line 1'28 before the South African.