Dakar: Gauloises Racing stage three report

Stage 3: Castellon-Valencia (Link 65km / SS 10km) KTM Gauloises preserve 100% record. In the bikes KTM Gauloises preserved their 100% record thanks to Frenchman Cyril Despres who won the last European special just 2/10ths of a second ahead of ...

Stage 3: Castellon-Valencia (Link 65km / SS 10km) KTM Gauloises preserve 100% record.

In the bikes KTM Gauloises preserved their 100% record thanks to Frenchman Cyril Despres who won the last European special just 2/10ths of a second ahead of another Gauloises backed rider the Dutchman Eric Verhoef. Young Spanish rider Marc Coma was third. In cars the soft sand logically favoured the 4-wheel drives with victory going to Masuoka (Mitsubishi) ahead of Peterhansel and Henrard, an impressive third.

Richard Sainct.
Photo by Gauloises Racing.

Motorcycles:

Cyril Despres (Gauloises KTM) 1st in 6'30
"It was quite a hard special with soft sand and deep ruts -- another tough test for my shoulder and still no problems. To be honest I am surprised I won because I got a little crossed up coming over a jump and stalled on reception. Now we are heading off to Africa and we will have to see how my shoulder holds up over a full length special. So far I'm very satisfied with how everything has gone."

Eric Verhoef 2nd at 0'02
"The going here is very similar to the beach races we have back home in Holland -- I thought I had done a good time. Up until now I have had no problem with the bike apart from a loose handlebar on the prologue (!) and the crowds and weather have been great. It will be good though to start racing in Africa."

Giovanni Sala (Gauloises KTM) 4th at 0'12
"Yesterday I made a few mistakes in the special so I was careful not to do the same here. Up until now I have had no big problems, and it has been great for the public, but now it is time to go and race in Africa."

Alfie Cox (Gauloises KTM) 5th at 0'14
"The organistation, the weather and the crowds have all been great in Europe and it is an important part of the rallye but I'm ready to get going now. I'm not a great sailor so it is probably a good job that we only have a short special just after we arrive!"

Richard Sainct (Gauloises KTM) 6th at 0'19
"It was quite a tough special with lots of deep ruts -- especially after the jumps. Now we have 30 hours of sleeping and eating ahead of us before things get serious."

Fabrizio Meoni (Gauloises KTM) 15th at 0'48
"I'm looking forward to get to Africa. I know that the European stages are part of the rallye but my bike isn't made for them!"

Jean Brucy(Gauloises KTM) 21st at 0'59
"That was like a Le Touquet with some big ruts forming. My job isn't to take any risks, but to make sure I finish, so I took it easy. It will be good to get to Tozeur and some real sand."

Miran Stanovnik (Gauloises KTM) 29th at 1'24
"I didn't expect to taste salt water on my lips! Apart from a little problem with my mousse everything has gone fine so far -- though it will be good to get to Africa."

Jos? Maria Servia and Enric Oller-Carbo.
Photo by Gauloises Racing.

Cars:

Jean Louis Schlesser (Gauloises Schlesser Ford) 11th at 0'37
"This kind of special is part of the race -- just not a good part for us. You never know how deep the sand will be or how soft. Here we should have maybe let the tyres down a bit more but at least we got through with no trouble."

Josep Maria Servia (Gauloises Schlesser Ford) 14th at 0'49
"The sand was very soft but we didn't have too many problems. It is has been good for the public but difficult for us. It will be a relief to get to Africa."

Trucks:

Jan De Rooy (Gauloises De Rooy)
"Yesterday we had an excellent day and I think today hasn't gone badly. Until now in fact everything has been perfect -- lets hope it continues like that. Myself and my son however don't have the same objectives. Mine is go for the best place I can. My son's is to get to the end of the rallye and obtain as much experience as possible."

-gr-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Jean-Louis Schlesser , Jean Brucy , Fabrizio Meoni , Cyril Despres , Alfie Cox , Richard Sainct , Giovanni Sala , Enric Oller-Carbo , Miran Stanovnik , Eric Verhoef , Marc Coma