Chilean President at the bivouac
Sebastian Piсera, President of the Republic of Chile since last March, paid a long visit to the Arica bivouac this morning. Accompanied by Etienne Lavigne, the rally raid Managing Director, he first spent some time with Team Volkswagen and then insisted upon greeting each and every Chilean drivers, riders and teams enrolled in the Dakar. He also showed great interest for the tech zone and more particularly for the organization's transmission and communication system. After a word of thank you with Etienne Lavigne to the Chilean "Carabineros", the Chilean President reiterated his country's support to an event that brings along such great values: "I welcome the sporting example that the contenders give to our 17 million Chileans", said the President, amongst other things. At the end of the President's visit, Etienne Lavigne handed in - on behalf of A.S.O. - a check for 157,000 dollars to the 'Un techo para mi pais' Foundation. Since 2009 the yearly A.S.O. donation has allowed building of some 450 emergency homes for families in need.
Correction stage 6
Contrary to what was announced yesterday, rider nr 11 Ruben Faria was not relegated due to a mistake he made but do to a timing error at refueling where the race marshalls let him leave 4' early - and not 9'47'' as previously announced. The rider was therefore given back the additional 4' on his total timing. Ruben Faria therefore ranks 3rd of the stage 3'10'' behind stage winner Helder Rodrigues. He now ranks 5th in the general rankings, some 33'54 behind its present leader Marc Coma.
Change for stage 7
The planning of the Personal Dakar Argentina Chile has been designed from tough to tougher; next week will be full of difficulties for the rally raid contenders. After two very hard stages that forced a significant amount of contenders to only reach the bivouac during the rest day in Arica, the rally raid organizers have decided to start the second week of race by removing the second part of the 7th special stage between Arica and Antofagasta.So, after a 272.68 km special stage, the rally raid contenders will drive in liaison up to the bivouac.Although the 7th stage will remain really difficult, the adjustment - made possible by the way the rally raid has been designed with two special stages on certain days - will allow contenders to recover and get into the pace of an intense second week of race.