Gerard de Rooy 2nd; Jan de Rooy 5th "We've taken it easy. At last a stage without breakdowns. We stopped twice; otherwise we would have won the stage". The shabby group that's still in the 27th edition of Le Dakar got the wind up. 10.15 a.m.
Gerard de Rooy 2nd; Jan de Rooy 5th
"We've taken it easy. At last a stage without breakdowns. We stopped twice; otherwise we would have won the stage".
The shabby group that's still in the 27th edition of Le Dakar got the wind up.
10.15 a.m. GMT. Italian Fabrizio Meoni falls, short after checkpoint 1, after 184 kilometres of the Special from Atâr to Kiffa. The doctors in the helicopter that rushed in tried to reanimate the 47-years old veteran for 45 minutes but at 11.11 hours the winner of 2001 and 2002 passed away. He couldn't finish his 13th rally, which -- as he said in Barcelona -- would be his last one.
His colleagues heard the news 10 kilometres before arrival at Kiffa. Heartbreaking scenes at the bivouac although everyone realized that competing the most difficult rally in the world also means taking risks and sometimes unacceptable risks. The motor bikers requested to neutralize tomorrow's stage. The Organization decided to transport the bikers and their bikes by plane to Bamako.
116 Motorbikes, 80 cars and 32 trucks arrived at the bivouac last night. Less than 50% of the optimistic convoy that appeared at the start in Barcelona.
Finally 36 trucks were allowed to start this morning. Hans Stacey's engine problems were too big and he had to give up. Also Karel Loprais saw his hope to arrive in Dakar go up in smoke.
Hans Bekx managed to take his 4th stage victory. He finished 4.06 minutes faster than Gerard de Rooy, who had a fine day. "We've taken it easy. At last a stage without breakdowns. We stopped twice, otherwise we would have won the stage," tells Gerard de Rooy shortly after the finish, after he had complimented Hans Bekx on his victory. Tchaguine took the 3rd place at 11.19 minutes, Kabirov the 4th one at 16.24 minutes and Jan de Rooy finished 5th at 21.44 minutes. As also Hugo Duisters didn't suffer that much problems with his bosses he finished 9th.
Hans Bekx was fastest at checkpoint 1. The Team Gauloises de Rooy was close on his heels. Jan de Rooy followed 2nd at 4.34 and Gerard 3rd at almost 6 minutes. Tchaguine was 4th at 13.15 minutes, being 6 minutes faster than Kabirov. Hugo Duisters passed cp 1 at about half an hour, being 8th.
The overall leader is still Kabirov. He is 2.00.55 hours ahead of Hans Bekx. Jan de Rooy takes the 6th place at 7.16.06 and Gerard de Rooy moved up to the 11th place at 11.08.27 hours. The third man from the Team Gauloises de Rooy, Hugo Duisters, takes the 23rd place at 31 hours from Kabirov.
To be continued . . . . .