Dakar: Gauloises Racing stage 3 report

Over the short 9 km technical special on the beach in Castellon it was once again David Fretigne (Yamaha) who won to keep the overall lead by 16 seconds. Just one second behind him, Cyril Despres (Gauloises KTM) finished second, with ...

Over the short 9 km technical special on the beach in Castellon it was once again David Fretigne (Yamaha) who won to keep the overall lead by 16 seconds. Just one second behind him, Cyril Despres (Gauloises KTM) finished second, with multi-enduro world champion Giovanni Sala (Gauloises KTM) third.

Last year's winner Richard Sainct (Gauloises KTM) was 8th.

In the cars victory went to De Villiers (Nissan) with De Mevius (BMW) second and Peterhansel (Mitsubishi) third. Over less than ideal going Jean Louis Schlesser (Gauloises Ford Buggy) finished 9th with team mate Jose Maria Servia just behind in 10th. In T1 Jean Pierre Strugo was 62nd 18 places behind his principle class rival Ratet. Overall Jean Louis goes to Africa in 10th place while team mate Servia holds second position 5 seconds behind Peterhansel.

Cyril Despres (Gauloises KTM France) 2nd (at 00m01)
"Unfortunately the front end went away on the concrete right at the start and I lost a few seconds picking the bike up. It is a pity, as without that I would have won. Still the important thing is that I didn't hurt myself. After that I decided to take it a little bit easy as it is a long way to Dakar -- I'm looking forward to getting to Africa."

Giovanni Sala (Gauloises KTM International) 3rd (at 00m05)
"I've just come from the ISDE in Brazil where many of the specials were on the beach so I have had plenty of practice on this kind of going -- just the bike was a bit different!

Eric Verhoef (Gauloises KTM Privateer) 4th (at 00m10)
"Here is exactly like the beach races we have back at home in Holland so hopefully I should have done OK. Unfortunately the jumps were a little smaller this year than two years ago so I had less of an advantage. If I haven't won here I'll have to have another go on the last special at Lac Rose!"

Alfie Cox (Gauloises KTM International) 7th (at 00m28)
"We looked at the special yesterday evening and it was much wetter -- by the time we got to ride it this morning it was very cut up (the fastest riders started the special last). Still, when you see how many spectators have turned up at the all the European specials you realise how important they are for the future of the event."

Richard Sainct (Gauloises KTM France) 8th (at 00m29)
"That was a little taste of sand but the real race starts tomorrow. It is difficult for us to find the rhythm and attack hard when we only have 9 km. Really this is just for 'the show' and the important thing here is to give the spectators something to watch while not taking too many risks."

Miran Stanovnik (Gauloises KTM Privateer) 32nd (at 1m16)
"The jumps weren't as big as before but it was good fun. I rode reasonably hard but obviously I wasn't going to take any risks."

Jean Louis Schlesser (Gauloises Ford Buggy) 9th (at 00m12)
"The sand was very soft and there were a lot of jumps -- not at all the sort of going on which our cars excel. All things considered I'm pretty happy with our positions. The cars are running perfectly and now we are looking forward to getting to Africa."

Jose Maria Servia (Gauloises Ford Buggy) 10th at (00m13)
"The soft sand made it difficult to accelerate after the jumps and it won't be us who create the surprise today. Viva Africa and the real start of the Dakar."

Jean Pierre Strugo (Gauloises Mercedes) 62nd (at 2m10)
"The start of the special was quite fast but unfortunately we started in low ratio and over revved the engine -- it took about 30 seconds for the automatic gearbox to kick in again. I'm looking forward to getting to Africa where the result isn't decided in seconds but in minutes -- it is there that we will be able to show what we can do."

-gauloises-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Jean-Louis Schlesser , José Maria Servia , Cyril Despres , Alfie Cox , Richard Sainct , Giovanni Sala , Miran Stanovnik , Eric Verhoef , David Fretigne