Dakar: Stage 6 Tan Tan to Zouerat notes

Stage 6 - Tan Tan to Zouerat January 5, 2006 Connection 336 km - Special 444 km Connection 12 km Total 792 km Southbound The hours of sleep stored up from previous stages will be an asset when tackling this long road. The long liaison to the...

Stage 6 - Tan Tan to Zouerat
January 5, 2006
Connection 336 km - Special 444 km Connection 12 km
Total 792 km

Southbound
The hours of sleep stored up from previous stages will be an asset when tackling this long road. The long liaison to the start of the special will take place at night, in conditions which require maximum vigilance. The first part of the sector counting towards classification will be fought out over a wide, fast track, before taking on a much sandier stretch halfway through the special.

11:07: Night watch
Latecomers, mechanical repairs, funny stories and nightmares... Life goes on after night fall in the Dakar bivouac. Every morning, don't miss out on what happened!

23:13 -- Broken wrist
Already forced to change his engine during the liaison heading to the first Dakar stage, Bernard Montaz had to quit the race injured. The Savoy area rider broke his wrist on his way to Tan Tan and looked very disappointed when leaving the medial tent. "It's all over. I was at km 80 of the special, blinded by the dust and I fell while overtaking a quad. I carried on riding for 40kms with a broken arm. I was then treated at CP1. I managed to finish the stage but now it's too painful. This is my third withdrawal and I don't know if I'll have the courage to come back."

23:30 -- Work for the Euromaster team
Oliver Pain, winner of a contest organised by Euromaster has seriously damaged his damaged his KTM but should be able to carry on the adventure. "Olivier had a big fall and is actually injured but he damaged all the front part of the bike, explains team manager Thierry Vanengelandt. There should be a lot of work but we should be on time for his start."

0:00 -- Still 20 bikers in the stage
While 20 bikers still haven't made it to the end of the stage in Tan Tan, Francesco Tarricone only just makes it to his equipment box by the bike plane and still has a lot of work to do on his machine. "I broke the radiator getting closer to the end of the special. I was forced to stop every50km to add water and had to ride very slowly. I hope I'll manage to sleep an hour because I have to take off at 2:15 AM!"

0:15 -- Medical report
Olivier Le Cop enters the medical tent with a big bruise on his left leg and a right knee in equally bad state, added to several burns due to his knee protections. He won't have a lot of time to rest but Jean-Charles Lamotte, medical chief on the bivouac isn't too worried for him, "on the other hand, the day has been busy because since this morning we've had to treat three fractures but also three other serious case concerning competitors who have ad to quit the event."

0:30 -- Wake up call for KTM Gauloises
The start of the stage moves closer for the bikers who slowly came out of their tents. Cyril Despres isn't yet properly awake. "I feel like someone who has just woken up at midnight!" David Casteu on the other hand has a big smile on his face ready to start the day. "Because the team treats us so well, I was able to go to sleep at 8:00 PM. I've slept for close to 5 hours non stop. It's perfect!"

1:15 -- AL Attiyah will carry on
The mechanics of the BMW X-RAID team are still very busy. Four of them are indeed taking care of Nasser Al Attiyah's X3 that suffered engine problems during the stage. Work started at 10:00 PM and should be finished at around 5:00 just before crunch time. "We still need to change some parts of the engine, but the car will be ready and Nasser will be at the start", explained the workshop boss.

1:30 -- Work for Nissan
In the Nissan workshop, mechanics are still taking good care of Kenjiro Shinozuka's car, winner of the 1997 edition. "He had problems with his rear triangle. But we were able to repair and we hope he'll be able to drive more comfortably now", detailed team manager Daniele Canonico.

2:20 -- Last biker makes it
Riding the race on a side-car bike, Switzerland's Sandro Lanaro is the last to make it to the bivouac while a big number of bikers have already taken off for stage 6. He'll need the medical team's OK to carry on.

2:45 -- The absents
Five cars are still missing on the bivouac (Smulevici, Feryn, M.Duran, Medeiros, Raud) as well as five trucks (Barilla, Darazsi, Romei, Saumet, Hoogendyk).

3:10 -- Saby feels better
After a big jump during the day's special, Bruno Saby (Volkswagen) ended the stage with serious back pains. But also seemed far better when he woke up. "After a long massage and treatment from the physio yesterday, I feel much better. I'm however still carrying a big belt to rest my back."

General:

05:59 - Welcome to Mauritania
Entering Mauritania already means a lot for the competitors. The first serious difficulties and the tricky tracks of Morocco are behind them. The course heading to Zouerat is long with a first long liaison of 336km that will force the competitors to take off in the middle of the night. They will then have to cope with a first transition special. After a rather technical start, the bikers and drivers will go totally off-road but on rather fast terrain. One will however need to avoid navigational mistakes. There will indeed be less guiding points.

The top bikers could well cover the stage together after following the tracks of the openers. The first three of yesterday's stage, Despres, Coma and Esteve, could even be caught up by a few other companions, not as dangerous in the overall. De Gavardo, Caldecott, Casteu or Ullevalseter are indeed well positioned to manage such a performance.

Bike:

11:37 - Esteve fastest at CP1
After 221 kilometres of racing (CP1), Isidre Esteve has established the fastest time so far with a 54'' advantage on Marc Coma, 2'24'' on Despres. The first three of yesterday's stage who took off in the first three positions this mornring are almost bunched. On the other hand, it appears that Ruben Faria and Carlo De Gavardo, that had taken off behind the race leaders, have probably made a navigational mistake. They indeed went through CP1 23' adrift.

11:40 - Despres stopped at km 273
Title holder Cyril Despres appeared to have suffered a crash at km 273. Marc Coma and Isidre Esteve riding alongside the Frenchman stopped to launch the Iritrack alarm... But it appears that Despres is back on his feet repairing his bike while the two Spaniards have taken off.

11:42 - Despres back on his bike
After suffering a crash at km 273, Cyril Despres is back on his bike and riding. He stopped a while to repair and has therefore lost some time on his main rivals Marc Coma and Isidre Esteve riding together.

12:00 - Late bikers authorised to start
Competitors number 120 (Tom Classen) and 245 (Emmanuelle Jeannon) on a quad have been allowed to start the special despite arriving late at the start of the special.

Car:

12:11 - Shinozuka stopped after start of special
1997 Dakar winner, Kenjiro Shinozuka was forced to stop because of a rear triangle problem, 8kms after the start of the special. He is awaiting his assistance vehicle.

12:32 - Schlesser fastest at first CP
Jean-Louis Schlesser in his buggy has clocked the fastest time at the first CP (km 221). He only has a 3" advantage on team mate Thierry Magnaldi. Third is Carlos Sainz at 1'39".

Bike:

12:38 - Four riders together before CP2
Four riders were riding together with 9kms to go before CP2 (km 360) : Coma, Esteve, Despres and De Gavardo... About 10 minutes behind one man on his own: Andy Caldecott

12:54 - De Gavardo fastest at CP2
Four bikers made it together at CP2 (km 360): Coma, De Gavardo, Despres and Esteve. Based on their starting positions, the fastest time is for Carlo De Gavardo who started fourth behind his companions.

12:55 - Still four together
With 40km to go before the finish line, the four leading riders were still together: De Gavardo, Despres, Coma and Esteve.

13:02 - Quad rider stopped after start
Quad rider n251 (Robert Greff) was seen stopped at km 2 working on his bike. He appears to have chain problems and is awaiting his assistance vehicle.

Car:

13:13 - Schless and Peter together
In the car race Jean-Louis Schlesser and Stephane Peterhansel were seen driving alongside each other with 14kms to go before CP2 (km 360).

Bike:

13:21 - Coma increases overall lead
Spaniard Marc Coma increases his overall leadership after this 6th special. The KTM Repsol rider now has a 3'43" lead on Despres and 4'25" on Esteve.

13:23 - Despres believes he has broken collar-bone
Speaking just after finishing the day's special, title holder admitted that he believes he has broken his collar-bone. The Frenchman indeed suffered a crash at km 273.

13:40 - Despres at medical centre
Frenchman Cyril Despres is currently in the medical centre of the Zouerat bivouac. He believes he has broken his left collar-bone. The title holder is currently having an X-ray.

Car:

14:05 - Schlesser fastest at CP2
After clocking the fastest time at CP1, Jean-Louis Schlesser has again been the fastest at the second CP (km 360). The Frenchman has a 50" lead on team mate Thierry Magnaldi and 2'42" on Carlos Sainz (VW). Fourth is Giniel De Villiers (VW) at 4'39" followed by Peterhansel at 5'34".

14:26 - Magnaldi vctorious in Zouerat
For his first time on four wheels, Thierry Magnaldi captured stage victory today in Zouerat. The Frenchman driving a Schlesser-Ford buggy beat his team mate Jean-Louis Schlesser (who had clocked the fastest times at both CPs) by 2'55". Third is Giniel De Viliers (VW) at 3'46" ahead of Jutta Kleinschmidt at 5'13" and Luc Alpnahd at 6'02".

14:33 - De Villiers new overall leader
South Africa's Giniel de villiers captured the overall lead after the day's special... The Volkswagen Race Touareg driver has a tiny 22" lead on team mate Carlos Sainz. Also driving a VW, Jutta Kleinschmidt is third at 34".

Bike:

15:07 - Bad news for Despres
According the lastest medical report, Cyril Despres suffers from a collarbone dislocation. It is therefore not broken but the injury is serious. The Frenchman has however decided to continue the Dakar.

Truck:

15:52 - 6 out of 6 for Chagin
Russian Vladimir Chagin carried on his perfect run in this 28th Dakar. The Kamaz driver took his truck to a 6th consecutive special win. Chagin beat Hans Stacey by over 17' while title holder Firdaus Kabirov was third 27'34" adrft.

-dakar.com-

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Series DAKAR