Team Honda Europe stage 12 report

Team Honda Europe withstands heat and sand Our five Team honda Europe riders went through another test todat. All riders entered the bivouac on time and in good health. Christopher Jarmuz finished as 19th in the special and Gerben managed a very...

Team Honda Europe withstands heat and sand

Our five Team honda Europe riders went through another test todat. All riders entered the bivouac on time and in good health. Christopher Jarmuz finished as 19th in the special and Gerben managed a very good 38th. These are long days and the competitors need to stay focussed all the time. With the brak of daylight the heat started. Certainly in the second part of the special in the loose sand the heat was exhausting. For man and machine, because again severa riders had problems with overheating engines and evaporated fuel. The battle for the 2nd and 3rd place is not yet over. Today Lopez took it back from Ullevalseter, but the difference is less than a minute. Cyril Depres still leads with over an hour advantage.

The first part of the special is like we know it from the last few days. Stones, rocks, riverbeds and difficult navigation. The second part was new for the riders in Dakar. 200 km loose sand with cuts and jumps. Tonny Krabbenborg "Henk Hellegers said the second part of the special would be as much fun as Nunspeet, but he did not tell there would be 200 km of it!" Christopher Jarmuz (19 special, 28 overall) " In the sand I jumped all the time, flying over the cuts and holes. It was great! The special started with stones and later it got faster. I could overtake several others. No crashed, finally it all comes together. After the special I had a break, to freshen up for the long connection.

Gerben Vruggink (38 special, 45 overall) had a strong day. He made a slow but secure start and was very fast in the sand. "The riverbeds again, very dangerous. Navigation was difficult as well. Henk visited the briefing like everyday and warned us for km119. For a good reason, I saw at least two crashes there. We had almost 2 hours for the 130 km between the first and second part of the stage. I started a little overenthousiastic in the sand, and a little 'moment'. I rode a bit slower but fast enough to cool the engine. I almost ran out of fuel, but could make it to the finish. At the end of the special I was exhausted, but then it's ok. My ranking is great, but most of all I want to finish.

Patrick Trahan (52 special, 56 overall) had the thoughest special so far. The first part was ok, but hot. The second part was even warmer. With the many cuts and holes constant concentration was needed. Navigation was made easy by the huge crowds. "That ws great, as I did not have any time to watch the roadbook on this stage I found the right speed in fourth gear and kept telling myself I should continue and keep my spirits high. At the connection i had a short brake in the shade of a tree. Soon people showed up to have a chat. And after today I know for sure that Argentinian women are cute!"

Tonny Krabbenborg (66 special, 82 overall) got lost for the homebase on Iritrack, but as his fanbase had showed up at the finishline we heard he had finished. "20 km before the finishline I was out of fuel! I got 2 litres from the locals, just enough to reach the finish. It was a long day. I rode straight into some bushes, and heard cracking and snapping sounds. A big branch hit me on the inside of my helmet, causing a bruise. The sand was fun, you have to find the right speed and it's ok. As long as I was riding the heat was ok.

Aloys Ressing (79 special, 80 overall) was worried the bike would overheat in the sand. "I stopped every now and then to let it cool down. At 100km I had overtaken at least 15 others. Tomorrow I can start a bit earlier, which is better with the cars behind me. And such a crowd! Everybody was partying with bbq's, food and drinks. Also on the connection the crowds cheer you to the finish, such an experience!"

Mirjam Pol can almost walk, and had some serious sleep. She has asked the organisation if her bike has arrived Buenos Aires, and she has given the GPS and Iritrack back to the orga. Together with Marcel Bulten and Henk Hellegers she waited at the start of the last connection to be certain she saw all the riders. And she's ranked first in the class for bivouac-scooters.

Team Honda Europe is running well with 5 riders in the race. What does an average day look like? As the riders enter the bivouac the truck is ready. As soon as Henk Hellegers arrives back from the finish he hears from the riders what their day looked like and what needs to be done on the bikes. Did they crash, is anything broken? Henk visits the daily briefing of ASO and briefs the riders with all the info he has about the next day. Tents ar ready, and as the riders have finished dinner and their roadbooks they can rest. Wolter van Tarel, the docter of the team helps the riders with sore muscles and injuries. Then the mechanics start their work, and make sure the riders start with a fresh bike the next day.

Tomorrow goes from San Rafael to Santa Rosa. With a special of 368 km and a total length of 725 km the last part of Dakar 2010 is tough. 40 km of soft sand and dunes make up the first kilometers of the stage. Gray sand, of the Nihuil Dunes, known by those who paticipated in 2009.. The first rider leave the bivouac at 06:35h local time.

-source: team honda eu

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Series Dakar