More than five hours after the winner of yesterday's stage, Guerlain Chicherit crossed the finishing line. His buggy had caught fire before he reached Antofagasta!
Not only Phoenixes are reborn from their flames… Guerlain does as well! Nobody expected Chicherit to finish the special at Antofagasta, but nonetheless he emerged from the night which had fallen a while before, after having issued an alert that seemed fatal to his chances. Earlier in the day, buggy number 323, the latest creation of the X-Raid workshops, caught fire.
I can't believe that we made it to the finish.
Several moments later, the twitter feed of many times free-ride skiing world champion announced the end of his adventure on the Dakar 2015. “When the back of the car burned, I called Sven and told him that it was over. But, with Alex [Vinocq, his co-pilot), we still got to work to see what we could do. We cleaned everything and did everything we could before our assistance truck arrived to help us change the parts we didn't have. The worst thing is, the differential broke afterwards and we had to finish the stage like that. I can't believe that we made it to the finish”.
An expert in bouncing (back), on skis or with the Mini with which he attempts back-flips or world record long jumps, Guerlain admits that the first week of the race is the most eventful that he has experienced: “If we've managed to get through this day, it's because all this work is going to help us win next year!”.