Dakar: Stage 9 Tidjikja to Nema quotes

Bike: Richard Sainct (FRA - KTM, 3rd) - 001 "I'm happy to have made it because I believe that not a lot of competitors will be here tonight. It really is a good Dakar, one of the hardest. During the special, we rode with Despres, Roma and Cox.

Bike:

Richard Sainct (FRA - KTM, 3rd) - 001
"I'm happy to have made it because I believe that not a lot of competitors will be here tonight. It really is a good Dakar, one of the hardest. During the special, we rode with Despres, Roma and Cox. On my own, it would have been boring. The stage was so long. I had already done it but in the other way. The important thing is not to have had problems. I didn't ride fast. I stayed in the wheel of Roma almost during the whole day."

Cyril Despres (FRA - KTM, 1st) - 002
"It was hell ! Ten hours on the bike, those behind will take twice as long ! I had plenty of mechanical problems and 150kms from the finish, my bike stopped. I went around the bike to find out that the ignition was broken. I therefore was 3min behind the leading group. Slowly, I caught up Esteve and then was in the dust of Cox, Roma and Sainct. We then entered a village and I decided to go on my own track. It was the good one, the others were wrong. It's a satisfaction for me, I thought I didn't know how to navigate. I'm reassured. There were beautiful landscapes. Between the start this morning and the finish, it looked like we'd changed countries. Concerning the stage cancellation, I think it's a shame that sport is taken in hostage. The Dakar is our most important event. We've been thinking about it for months and now it's like if the rally was cut into two. The rally is also an endurance race and I'm disappointed because I'm in top shape and I won't be able to defend my chances properly in the next two specials."

Fabrizio Meoni (ITA - KTM, 11th) - 003
"At 200kms from here, the support for my navigation instruments dismounted. I had to repair it on my own. Concerning the cancellation of the two specials? I have my problems and the organisers have theirs. I take the decisions as they come. With all the problems I have had, I don't look at the overall but of course I would have preferred being on my bike, especially because tomorrow's stage looked great and Sunday's one with no GPS could have been interesting."

Nani Roma (SPA - KTM, 7th) - 004
"Ten hours on the bike is not easy! The most important is to arrive. I still took pleasure despite the length. There were no technical difficulties. I will take advantage of these three rest days, to recover and continue in top shape. I'm not focusing on the overall. My goal is to make it to the bivouac every night, trying to keep the same rhythm as during the first week."

Alfie Cox (RSA - KTM, 2nd) - 010
"I started 20 minutes after everyone. However, when I made it to refuelling, they were all there. I caught them at the Elephant rock and we then rode together. Cyril then took off. I enjoyed the first part of the special."

Car:

Jean-Louis Schlesser (FRA - Schlesser Ford, 4th) - 200
"Everything went well although it was hard. It was a though day. To finish in the night made us lose at least 15min. There were no major difficulties even though some passages were tricky. We went slowly at the beginning because we didn't want to puncture like the other days."

Gilles Picard (FRA - Mitsubishi, 1st) - 201
"It was the toughest special so far, even harder than yesterday's. 750kms none stop. Not even the time to stop and p... or a puncture. With Hiroshi (Masuoa) our thoughts are for those who are far behind, the privateers. It's already tough for us and we're prepared! Added to that, most of them will drive at night and that doubles the time. These two rest days will allow us to rest even though the liaisons are long."

Stephane Peterhansel (FRA - Mitsubishi, 2nd) - 203
"Now that's a real special! 9h20 on the road! The hardest part is not the physical exhaustion but the concentration. It becomes difficult to analyse the distances. There were no major difficulties but it was so long. I spent most of the day in 2nd and 3rd gear at 60km/h. My time is not as god as Masuoka's but it was important to make it here in one piece. We didn't drive together. I only saw hi behind me at the end. At the beginning, I thought that the cancellation of the next two stages was to allow the competitors to rest, but it really is for security reasons. Anyhow, it'll be good for everyone."

Jutta Kleinschmidt (GER - Volkswagen, 3rd) - 204
"It was really long. It was difficult to go fast because of the rocks and the camel grass. But I prefer this kind of course, compared to the fast tracks. I like it when it's hard but my thoughts are with the privateers that will drive all night. These two rest days are part of the Dakar. I'm used to it."

-aso-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Jean-Louis Schlesser , Jutta Kleinschmidt , Stéphane Peterhansel , Gilles Picard , Fabrizio Meoni , Cyril Despres , Alfie Cox , Richard Sainct , Nani Roma