January 5 2011, Stage 4 overall standings: Quinn Cody 13th; Alexey Naumov 56th; Vadim Pritulyak 90th; Mirjam Pol 117th;
A early and cold start of the day
As usual it was a very early start this morning. A long road section with a length of 554 kilometers was scheduled, taking the Paso de Jama pass into Chili. The highest point of this pass is just over 4.800 meters, which meant it was freezing cold in the first hours of the day. Around midday the sun was comfortably warm again, giving the bikers a chance to warm up.
Quinn Cody daily routine
Quin Cody was the first rider of the team to start the special. He scored a 13th time in the special, and is also 13th overall. Cody raced as fast as the bike would allow him. The very high altitude always has a big impact on the performance of the bikes, there's just less power available. Cody: ,,It was freezing cold this morning. I arrived at 11.00 o 'clock at the start, which gave me more
than an hour to warm up in the sun and get prepared. A relatively short special, but it was fun. I liked the offroad section, where you really needed to navigate. I had a hard time reading the gps because of the sun. Dutchman Frans Verhoeven was kind enough to explain me how to adjust the contrast of the gps. I rode as fast as the bike would let me, I could have gone faster. My daily routine is getting better. Finding the
materials in the truck, prepare your gear, and your roadbook. Yesterday Jonah Street helped me with my roadbook, which was great.'' Alexey Naumov
Alexey Naumov is as calm and relaxed as usual when we see him. Like all days so far there were no problems, he drove safely and enjoyed the day. He was 53rd in the special, 56th overall which is fine for the first week of the Dakar. ASO's avid Castera mentioned today the rally will really begin after the rest day, and that the first days are nothing compared to what is coming.... Naumov: ,,The liaison was cold, but the views very nice. A lot of rocks and fesh-fesh today, and especially fesh-fesh I don't like at all. I had a problem with the gps mount, which was moving around, but other than that the day was fine.'' Mirjam Pol on the beautiful gravel tracks
Mirjam Pol expected to have done better today (90th in the special) , as she finally had a good day without any incidents. ,,I was stuck behind teammate Vadim for about 80 kilometers before I was able to pass him. The offpiste section through the mountains was tricky with fesh-fesh and rocks. The last part was nice following beautiful gravel tracks and finally a downhill track which was great! I didn't crash today, made no mistakes, so it was a reasonably good day for me. Now we need better results.''
Mirjam Pol got a three hour penalty yesterday, but the reason is not exactly clear. Teammanager Theo Koster is now finding out what this is about. Vadim Pritulyak
Vadim Pritulyak (134th in the special, 91st overall) was struggling today in the road section with the high altitude. ,,I almost lost my mind, I couldn't breathe properly. I was just in time for the start, I could continue right away. My wrist is painfull, it's like riding with one hand. I was afraid to go fast today, after what happened in the morning, but I'm here and that's what counts.'' Preview January 6th: Calama -- Iquique
A very fast stage which starts with a variety of terrain, crossing a wide open off-track terrain and finally the spectacular 2.3 kilometer long descent through the dunes at an average gradient of 32%