Dakar: Repsol teams stage seven report

Marc Coma and Stephane Peterhansel, overall leaders in bikes and cars Very tough stage with arrival in Tichit. Roma finishes seventh and the positions of the favourites are consolidated. Marc Coma and Stephane Peterhansel have taken the lead of...

Marc Coma and Stephane Peterhansel, overall leaders in bikes and cars
Very tough stage with arrival in Tichit. Roma finishes seventh and the positions of the favourites are consolidated.

Marc Coma and Stephane Peterhansel have taken the lead of the Dakar 2005 after the seventh stage that took them to Tichit, in the heart of Mauritania. At the time this information was transmitted, twenty bikes and eight cars had managed to reach the finish of a demolishing day especially for the bikers who have been riding for nine and a half hours. Marc Coma, second quickest today, is the new leader of the bike overall standings with an advantage of sixteen seconds over Frenchman Fretigne. Isidre Esteve was ninth fastest and is also ninth in the overall standings. Giovanni Sala, who had chances to win the stage, provided Esteve with fuel allowing him to reach the finish.

Smashing victory for Peterhansel in the car class. The Repsol driver has been the best and takes back the lead of the standings ahead of team-mate Luc Alphand. Nani Roma managed once again to improve his performance and with steady pace finished seventh of the stage and is sixth in the overall standings.

The eighth stage, to be raced tomorrow, will cover 538 km between Tichit and Tidjikja. 18 km will be a liaison section and 520 timed. In this stage, the riders and drivers who consider it necessary will be able to request to unblock the GPS code in case they should get lost, but with the corresponding time penalty.

Jordi Arcarons: It's been a demolishing stage. The riders have been on their bikes for nine hours and a half at a fast pace and with lots of sand and little visibility. Even the conditions in the Tichit camp are bad, with a lot of wind and low clouds. Isidre Esteve crashed at km 10 of the special damaging some parts of his machine but he was able to continue and recover ground. Close to the finish he ran out of fuel because each rider only got 20 litres at the refuelling. Giovanni Sala stopped to provide him with fuel; otherwise he would have been able to win the stage.

At the end of the stage, the organisation made a check of the GPS points. The system provided by ASO memorises the route and detects if the riders have passed the established compulsory checkpoints. Despres, Coma and Sala have them all. Isidre is missing one and Meoni two. The Stewards will decide whether they will be penalised or not.

After the refuelling, the bikes are now in the parc ferme without any chance to be repaired. The task of the riders has been to prepare the road book for tomorrow's stage which will be very hard and complicated as well. It is in this area where Nani Roma got lost in 2002. They are going to try to have some rest in a tent we've rented because the conditions are really hard around here. We're looking forward to what is going to be said at the briefing tomorrow morning. The helicopters are at CP1. They stayed there and they cannot fly at night. Right now we don't think that the whole stage is going to be run. Let's see what happens".

-repsol-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Luc Alphand , Stéphane Peterhansel , Giovanni Sala , Nani Roma , Marc Coma , Jordi Arcarons