Tuesday, January 8, 2002 Stage 11 - Atar to Tidjikja BIKES Alfie Cox "I am very happy with fourth place, because the stage was very, very hard and the fight with Jordi was particularly fraught. It is sure that I will try to be on the podium in...
Tuesday, January 8, 2002 Stage 11 - Atar to Tidjikja
"I am very happy with fourth place, because the stage was very, very hard and the fight with Jordi was particularly fraught. It is sure that I will try to be on the podium in Dakar. I Roma and Meoni ran hard today and it was difficult to follow their rhythm. But, for sure, if I don't attack over the next days, Meoni will be all right for victory. It doesn't only depend upon the stages, I have to try something!"
"It was really a hard day. I rode in front and with Meoni, both together. In a village we found a good track, but we were a little deceived. After de Gavardo was able to catch us. But I am happy. It is the first time that I have arrived in Tidjikja. For me, it is difficult to ride on the sandy stages, because I am not an expert. I am satisifed to be among the leaders. With Fabrizio and Carlo, I think we will fight for the victory."
"The others with the small engines are very tired and stayed behind an d used less physical strength than me today. The terrain does not favour my bike. The stage was very physical. Tomorrow, I will leave the start behind the two leaders from today and I will catch them. I believe to be competitive on a physically demanding stage you need to ride in a rhythm. I know the positions, but I never look at them. At the start, my objective is not to win, but to finish."
Carlo de Gavardo
"I was a little disappointed with my performamce yesterday. It made me pay more attention today. The goal is always dangerous. Today, the rhythm set by Fabrizio was very important. It is necessary to concentrate at 150% and be in good physical condition. If this is not the case, you risk falling. My shoulder, injured yesterday, is not hurting too much."
Dominique Serieys - Mitsubishi team manager
What happens if the drivers continue to stay in the race and you have four drivers fighting each other for the win?
"Nothing, nothing at all. There are absolutely no team orders. The stage is open."
"Hard stage today because of the heat. The amateurs will have a demanding day. However, there's no way winning time ; there is no navigation, as we just have to follow the trails of the Organisation vehicles who previously opened the track. In the Top 10, the bikes as well as the piloting are similar, so that it's impossible to ride faster than the others leaders. As for me, my aim is to keep safe and to remain in the best pilots' bunch until Dakar."