End of the rally for GrÃ©goire de Mevius ; problems for Carlos Sousa. BenoÃ®t Rousselot claims his first T1 stage win GrÃ©goire de Mevius crashed heavily today, towards the end of the stage. Although badly shocked, the team is only suffering...
End of the rally for Grégoire de Mevius ; problems for Carlos Sousa.
Benoît Rousselot claims his first T1 stage win
Grégoire de Mevius crashed heavily today, towards the end of the stage. Although badly shocked, the team is only suffering from minor injuries. Carlos Sousa has a broken hub, and is waiting for his assistance truck. Benoît Rousselot was the fastest over the stage in his Pathfinder T1.
Team Nissan France Dessoude had a big fright when Grégoire de Mevius and Jacky Dubois crashed today. After driving perfectly throughout the stage (4th at CP2), the accident happened around fifty kilometers from the finish line.
Grégoire is suffering from cuts on his face, at least two broken ribs, and a cut knee. His face certainly hit the steering wheel in the crash : "It was on an ultra-fast salt lake, and we were driving between 150 and 160 km/h. I totally failed to see the bump in front of us. I can't remember the accident. I lost consciousness, and must have hit the steering wheel. We had waited for Carlos, in order to drive behind him. Without wanted to, we must have overtaken him in the dunes. The car was going very well, and we were being very careful. We gauged our tyre pressures really carefully in order to get through the sand. Everything was perfect, and then we crashed." Jacky Dubois, who is only suffering from bruises, remembers the circumstances of the crash : "This bump appeared at the last minute. It was impossible to do anything about it. The car took off, then landed nose-first, squashing the front. We bounced back, and hit the rear, then we rolled. It's hard, very hard."
It was a bad day for the team, because almost at the same moment, Carlos Sousa broke a hub. Trapped out on the trail, the Portuguese driver, who was lying 4th at the time, had to wait for his assistance truck. At the time of writing, Carlos Sousa and Thierry Delli Zoti had still not reached the bivouac.
In the T1 category, Benoît Rousselot set the fastest time of the day. A fine performance for the rookie, for whom it was the first stage win. A good reason to smile : "Since the start of the Dakar, I have seem quite a lot, but never dunes like these ones.. They were so high I thought they were cliffs...The Dakar is really quite an experience, something extraordinary. Today, I was aware once again that physical condition is a vital part of this event. I take part in marathons, and here, I am up against that same sort of endurance. This evening, I am very happy, also for Philippe. He has done a great job, as has the whole team."
Tomorrow's route will be modified. Because of the bad weather conditions in Mauritania, the organizers have decided to shorten tomorrow's special stage. This timed sector, among the most difficult of the rally, will stop at CP2, reducing the distance from the originally planned 656km to 400,48. From CP2, the competitors will continue to Kiffa on tarmac roads.
Another difficult day is on the cards...