Team Honda Europe stage 7 report

Team Honda Europe finishes in the longest special Halfway through Dakar 2010 Team Honda Europe has reached the resting day in Antofagasta. It wasn't easy, certainly not for the injured Mirjam Pol who had to fight to reach the finish today. The...

Team Honda Europe finishes in the longest special

Halfway through Dakar 2010 Team Honda Europe has reached the resting day in Antofagasta. It wasn't easy, certainly not for the injured Mirjam Pol who had to fight to reach the finish today. The longest special in this rally was varied, starting and ending with dunes. In between a lot of off-piste, fes fes and fast tracks. There was some trouble in the bivouac. Overall leader Despres had protested Coma, who allegedly changed a wheel halfway through the stage. This might bring some unexpected changes in the top 5.

Stage 7: Team Honda Europe finishes in the longest special Saturday, 09 January 2010

Halfway through Dakar 2010 Team Honda Europe has reached the resting day in Antofagasta. It wasn't easy, certainly not for the injured Mirjam Pol who had to fight to reach the finish today. The longest special in this rally was varied, starting and ending with dunes. In between a lot of off-piste, fes fes and fast tracks. There was some trouble in the bivouac. Overall leader Despres had protested Coma, who allegedly changed a wheel halfway through the stage. This might bring some unexpected changes in the top 5.

The atmosphere is relaxed, with 6 riders in the bivouac the riders can sit back and relax. Perhaps they'll spend their time watching the mechanics work on their bikes, as they continue their work to keep the bikes in a perfect shape.

Christopher Jarmuz (37th in the stage 33rd overall) managed to ride in the top 30 the first part of the stage yesterday. In the second part he had to slow down. "We started in the dunes, which were more difficult to ride than yesterday. I could overtake a lot of riders and perhaps I've pushed too hard. In the second part of the stage I got tired which slowed me down. But everythig was there, it was a great special!"

Gerben Vruggink (57e in the stage, 48th overall) lost half an hour due to a broken chain. "At km 500 the chain snapped, and I had to stop. After I found it again in the fes-fes I could fix it. Repairing was easy, I have all the tools with me. Some people from the ORGA gave me something to drink. I am surprised I still have so much energy. A special of 600 km is like riding three enduro's. Tomorrow I will sort everything I need for the next week. Then I am ready for the second part of this challenge!"

Patrick Trahan is on schedule in his first Dakar. "Today was a true endurance test. The first section in the dunes was very nice. I stopped to help several people, and I have given Annie Seel some fuel. Gerben was standing next to the tracks with his chain but as I could not do anything for him I continued. I would have preferred to continue tomorrow, instead of heaving a resting day."

Mirjam Pol (79e in the stage, 58th overall) was on a true survival today. Due to her back- en leg injuries all she can hope for is reaching the finishline, unless Annie Seel gets into trouble. Getting up this morning caused a lot of pain, but Mirjam slowly got back during the day. "I rode a lot slower, stopped a few times and check my roadbook much better than normally. I fell twice, and the first time someone helped me to pick up the bike. In the stones I did a lillte prayer to get through. After 100km I was already overtaken by one of the cars! If I sat, my back hurt, if I was on my feet my leg hurt. But I am here, and that counts!

Tonny Krabbenborg (85th in the stage, 88th overall) and Aloys Ressing (84th in the stage, 84th overall) rode in the area as Mirjam today, passing CP's at roughly the same time. In the last dunes they pulled the throttle to make sure they didn't have to ride in the dark for too long. Entering 15 minuted after sunset, they reached this goal. "In the dunes we passed at least 25 to 30 other riders. That was fun! ALready after 200 meter an Italian guy was up to his saddle in the sand. Later we had a difficult climb up a stony hill. Aloys went first, and when I was on top I could not see him. Looking over my left shoulder I saw Aloys going down that same hill again. As it took as so much effort to reach the top, I yelled at him and luckily he came back. I fell in the fes fes once today, that was ok. But we age 2 years every day on this Dakar. We are very happy to be here, it is a great experience!

-source: team honda eu

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Series Dakar