The stage victory fades away
AFTER YESTERDAY'S MISFORTUNE, FRANCISCO LOPEZ ATTACKS IN THIS 11TH STAGE OF DAKAR 2011, FROM CHILECITO -- SAN JUAN. AT THE FINISH LINE, AS THE THE SITUATION DOESN'T CHANGE MUCH, HE SLOWS DOWN AND STAYS IS THIRD. GOOD RIDING DAY FOR ALAIN DUCLOS, FIFTH OF THE STAGE.
SAN JUAN -- Stage 11 takes competitors from Chilecito to San Juan. It was planned to be a 622 km special stage, divided in two portions separated by 160 km of neutralization, but due to the rains these last days that made the ground impracticable, it was reduced to 530.
Francisco Lopez and his Aprilia Tuareg 4.5 had the occasion to sign the second victory in this Dakar. He started fifth this morning and launched a pursuit to Coma and Despres earning time gradually until he marked the best time after CP1, around km 180. He put some pressure, but none of them wanted to be surprised.
The start after the neutralization was headed by Chaleco, but with the bike with a full tank, it was hard to go through the technical zones. Seeing that he could not make the difference, he rather lowered his rhythm and he crossed the finish line 3rd, 6' from Despres, winner of the stage.
Another exceptional stage for Alain Duclos. The French-Malian rider took some days to get into the rhythm, but he keeps doing better and better. Today, he obtained his best result so far, 5th of the stage, 10" from Despres.
Gerard Farres had a good stage until CP1, and then he fell, folding the handlebars. He continued carefully in order to get out of the stage and marked the 21st place time.
Alex Zanotti closed the day in 37th position.
Tomorrow it will be the last real Dakar stage. For stage twelve, competitors will go from San Juan to Cordoba, 678 km total and a special of 555 km. It will be the longest special stage of Dakar 2011 after the shortening of the two precedent days with more than 600 km in the program.
Francisco Lopez: "Today I worked hard to guide the bike with the tanks at full level. When it began to descend, I was able to drive better and in fact, I was catching Coma and Despres. After the refueling, there was a technical zone, and seeing that I couldn't change anything, I preferred to slow down the rhythm."
Alain Duclos: "A fantastic stage today, the ground and the landscape seemed to be like mines in Mali, it was great to run between the sand and low vegetation. The adjustments made yesterday to the suspensions have been very effective."