Monday, January 7, 2002 Stage Ten: Atar Loop BIKES ALFIE COX - winner of the stage "A difficult stage, but what a ride. The start was rocky and you had to ride carefully because of all the rocks and stones. The dune crossings weren't too bad,...
Monday, January 7, 2002 Stage Ten: Atar Loop
ALFIE COX - winner of the stage
"A difficult stage, but what a ride. The start was rocky and you had to ride carefully because of all the rocks and stones. The dune crossings weren't too bad, but the sand was very soft. There were stones on the track where the dust replaced the pebbles on the way to refuelling. A lot of dust. I am pleased to have won today. I will attack without hesitation over the next few days and hope that my rivals make a mistake or are victims of a mechanical problem. The rally is not finished. I am still determined to win. Never say never!"
"Since my 14m penalty, my overall classification has meant nothing to me. My aim is just to keep close to the best pilots and to maintain the gap between them and me. Today's stage was a breathtaking one, with a waypoint which was really difficult to find.
Unfortunately all the contenders found the way and then, nothing remarkable happened. The track was fast and dusty, so dusty... I was fourth or fifth and, with all that dust, it was impossible to overtake. But it was really a fantastic stage."
Fabrizio Meoni - overall leader
"The bike was difficult to ride for over 85 kms. It was a sandy piste with a lot of stones and small corners. I am tired trying to catch the others. When I caught them and the track was a little too fast. I refused to overtake and rode at my pace."
Carlo de Gavardo
"We all rode fast. All the riders wanted to take the lead to avoid the dust. Jordi was in front of me. I tried to pass, but I did not see a rock. I took off, but landed on another rock and on top of the bike. I I had some luck. I was not injured seriously. I am able to run tomorrow and I wasn't too bad in the overall classification."
"The stage was a little different having to ride for the first time without GPS. It was not evident. After the sand, I rode as quickly as I could to try and get ahead of Meoni, De Gavardo and Jordi. I passed them all, but then Meoni overtook me. I am very happy. It was not the day for overtaking. We will see...."
JUTTA KLEINSCHMIDT - winner of the stage
"It was a good stage for me, good navigation without the GPS. I think Hiroshi made a small mistake early on and we caught him after about 30 kms and then after about 100 kms he passed to the left and we went to the right. It was good to win the stage. I enjoyed today."
MATT STEVENSON - CO-DRIVER TO SAEED AL-HAJRI (6th o/a)
"We were disappointed today. We followed a dust trail into a canyon and realised that it was the wrong way. We wanted to attack and beat (Carlos) Sousa, but it was not to be. We haven't got the tyre deflation system of the works cars and we will probably lose some time in the soft sand, but Saeed is driving very well. We have a bottle of air to inflate and deflate, but it still costs us time. You have to ask yourself whether it is worth stopping to deflate just for three kilometres. Our aim is to beat Sousa and finish fifth. That would be a fantastic result for us both."