Team Honda Europe stage 9 report

January 11 2011, standings after stage 9: Quinn Cody 8th; Alexey Naumov 55th; Mirjam Pol 69th; Vadim Pritulyak 92nd;

Last day in the sand of the Atacama desert

Dakar heads back to Argentina. The loop around Copiapo was the last stage of this Dakar with the main part being sand dunes and sandy tracks. The start was 35 kilometers away from the bivouac, going straight into the dunes. It was a mass start in groups of 20, except for the first ten in the classification who started as the first group. In this group off course Team Honda Europe rider Quinn Cody. The winner of the day was surprisingly enough Jonah Street, who won his first Dakar stage after being close several times in the past. Street, who started in the third group, profited maximally from a navigation error in the first group.

Quinn Cody

Cody: "The mass start made it difficult today. I was following the group, when we all missed a right turn. I got stuck with Cyril Despres for a while. It was very dusty, and at some point in the dunes it got really foggy! I took my goggles off as it was impossible to see anything, and off course I got sand in my eyes. My ICO stopped working, so I was a bit confused sometimes. Today we will put a new engine in the bike. The strategy for the next days is to consolidate my 8th position in the general classification. Today was an early finish, which gives me time to prepare my roadbook and get a good rest. I'll be prepared for a cold morning when we cross the Andes again back into Argentina.'' Cody was 22nd today, but because a big part of the fast riders made the same mistake, it doesn't affect his position.

Mirjam Pol

Mirjam Pol was feeling comfortable today in the sand dunes. If it was up to her, there would be more days like this in the Dakar. ,,It's a pity this was the last day in the sand. Basically the only day with 80 % sand and dunes. To me this was the most beautiful day in the rally so far, I really enjoyed it. I was in the 4th group, but at the start I let them all go to stay out of the dust. After 25 minutes I caught up and was 3rd in my group. The fog made it impossible to see the top of the dunes, a strange situation. It took us about an hour and a half to do the first 100 kilometers. In Africa we used to have more of these days in the rally.''

Alexey Naumov

Alexey Naumov was 44th today, and is 56th overall which isn't bad considering the time he lost yesterday. The electrical problem had to do with the ignition, the bike was running like new today so maybe the bike hadn't been running as it should already over the last few days. Naumov started in the 6th group, due to the fact he was so late yesterday. Naumov: ,,I made no mistakes today. The start was a bit dusty, and for about 15 minutes the fog was quite bad. But I really loved the big dunes! I'm getting better every day with the riding and navigation.''

about 15 minutes the fog was quite bad. But I really loved the big dunes! I'm getting better every day with the riding and navigation.'' Vadim Pritulyak

Vadim Pritulyak is in the back of the field, fighting hard every day to get to the finish. Pritulyak: "Everybody rides his own Dakar, I ride mine. It's my dream to finish Dakar, today I didn't think it was possible to cross these big dunes. I'm not a professional, but I do like the spirit. I stopped a few times to watch the cars and trucks go through the dunes, it was impressive. It's a great feeling when I come into the bivouac, to see the eyes of my son. He helps me a lot. It was hard today, and my wrist gave me a lot of pain. I stopped at least 5 times to give it a rest. But I don't care, I just need to finish.''

own Dakar, I ride mine. It's my dream to finish Dakar, today I didn't think it was possible to cross these big dunes. I'm not a professional, but I do like the spirit. I stopped a few times to watch the cars and trucks go through the dunes, it was impressive. It's a great feeling when I come into the bivouac, to see the eyes of my son. He helps me a lot. It was hard today, and my wrist gave me a lot of pain. I stopped at least 5 times to give it a rest. But I don't care, I just need to finish.'' Preview January 12 Copiapo -Chilecito

The competitors will once again become mountaineers to cross the Andes mountain range. They should also make sure to take a camera to immortalise their journey along the road section on route 60, after crossing the border at the Paso San Francisco pass. After these moments of freshness and relaxation, the riders and drivers should expect heat shock. During this season, it is always very hot in the white dunes of Fiambala. The visit will be shorter than in previous years, but after ten days of racing, this section can in particular prove to be decisive for amateurs who start to show signs of tiredness.

-source: the

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Cyril Despres , Jonah Street , Quinn Cody