Dakar: Gauloises Racing stage 6 report

In the bikes the Spanish KTM team continued to fight it out at the front with Nani Roma winning today's special ahead of his compatriot Esteve Pujol. The Australian Andy Caldecott was third with Cyril Despres (Gauloises KTM) fourth and the ...

In the bikes the Spanish KTM team continued to fight it out at the front with Nani Roma winning today's special ahead of his compatriot Esteve Pujol.

The Australian Andy Caldecott was third with Cyril Despres (Gauloises KTM) fourth and the injured Richard Sainct 8th. The stage to Tan Tan saw the first of the factory riders pull out, with Giovanni Sala (Gauloises KTM) forced to retire with broken ribs. Overall Esteve Pujol leads 1m54 ahead of Roma with Despres third at 2m37. Fabrizio Meoni (Gauloises KTM) is fourth (at 4m32) while birthday boy Alfie Cox (Gauloises KTM) is fifth (at 7m11). Overall Richard Sainct is in 8th place (at 14m31) two places ahead of his water carrier Jean Brucy (10th at 15m29).

Cyril Despres (Gauloises KTM France) 4th (at 4'03) 3rd overall (at 2'37)
"I'm glad to get out of Morocco without hurting myself. Until the refuelling CP I sat in Fabrizio's (Meoni) dust and then, just after leaving the CP, he made a rare navigation error. When he realised his mistake he came back towards me and the gentleman he is he let me take the lead. I think Nani and Esteve have themselves a little battle going on -- all that hot Spanish blood -- but I have no intention of getting involved. Knowing them, if it carries on, it won't be long before one of them crashes out."

Alfie Cox (Gauloises KTM International) 6th (at 4'38) 5th overall (at 7'11)
"This is the third time I have done this route on the Dakar and it is as dangerous as ever. They should call it the jumping stage. It was my birthday today and before I left my son gave me a torch -- he said it was to help me get home if ever I got lost."

Richard Sainct (Gauloises KTM France) 8th (at 6'00) 8th overall (at 14'31)
"I'm not feeling great. My arm was hurting at the start this morning when the muscle was cold and giving me hell at the end over the stones. I just have to hope that it starts to get better and that it hurts less on the sandy stages where we get less shocks through the handlebars."

Fabrizio Meoni (Gauloises KTM International) 9th (at 6'21) 4th overall (at 4'32)
"I may have lost a little time today but it isn't a problem. My bike isn't adapted to this kind of going -- it is too heavy over the jumps and it is impossible to go faster without taking too many risks."

Giovanni Sala (Gauloises KTM International) retired with two broken ribs
"I was at about 120 kph in some small dunes when I hit a large rock with the front wheel. It is a pity as I was going well and was sure I was going to have a good Dakar."

Miran Stanovnik (Gauloises KTM Privateer) 24th (at 29'27) 20th overall (at 59'18)
"It blew both my fork seals today which meant I had to go at least 15% slower. I will repair that and then I will try and get some sleep -- it is going to be a long day tomorrow."

Eric Verhoef (Gauloises KTM Privateer) 27th (at 37'51) 28th overall (at 1h27'08)
Before refuelling it was impossible to overtake -- there was just so much dust. Then after the CP Gilles Algay came past me so I tucked in behind him and managed to stay with him almost to the end."

Mame Less Diallo (Gauloises Senegal) 76th (at 1h24) 76th overall at (3h35'38)
"I'm looking forward to getting to Mauritania. I'm starting to know it well and I am much happier in the sand."

CARS

Jose Maria Servia (Gauloises Schlesser Buggy) 7th (at 13'27) 8th overall (at 33'12)
"We spent the whole day in somebody or other's dust today but on the positive side at least it stopped us going too fast and doing anything stupid. Now I am going to try and get some sleep as we have an early start tomorrow."

Jean Louis Schlesser (Gauloises Schlesser Buggy) 9th (at 15'19) 7th overall (at 27'06)
"We were going well over the first part of the special but the car was too high at the back and not handling well over the bumpy last part of the day. We will lower it now for tomorrow and hopefully it will go better." On the subject of Peterhansel's 5 minute penalty yesterday. "I reckon he got off lightly. Two years ago we got a 60 minute penalty for the same thing. But as far as I'm concerned it is the officials problem not mine -- I wasn't going to make an appeal."

Thierry De Lavergne (Gauloises Senegal Nissan) 20th (at 40'40) 21st overall at 1h40.26)
"Given that we started behind the two De Rooy trucks and a Kamaz and couldn't overtake in their dust we didn't too badly today. The problem is that if you go off the piste to try and get past you run a big risk of getting a puncture or worse. Tomorrow in Mauritania should be better -- less bumpy."

Jean Pierre Strugo (Gauloises Merecedes) 50th (at 1h31'22) 30th overall (at 2h46'19)
"We broke a shock absorber about 100 km from the end and lost a load of time. The good news is that we are still ahead of our rival Ratet in the T1 class who is back down in 48th place."

TRUCKS

Gerardus De Rooy (Gauloises De Rooy)
"We played 'cat and mouse' with Tchaguine today. I'm looking forward to getting into the sand where we have already seen our truck goes really well."

-gr-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Jean-Louis Schlesser , José Maria Servia , Jean Brucy , Fabrizio Meoni , Cyril Despres , Alfie Cox , Richard Sainct , Giovanni Sala , Miran Stanovnik , Eric Verhoef , Nani Roma , Mame Less Diallo , Andy Caldecott