Dakar: Stage 12 Kiffa to Bamako notes

Stage 12: Kiffa to Bamako January 12, 2005 Liaison 25 km - Special 586 km - Liaison 208 km Total 819 km The arrival in Sahelian Africa is marked by speedy tracks surrounded by vegetation. Difficulties in finding landmarks make navigating a ...

Stage 12: Kiffa to Bamako
January 12, 2005
Liaison 25 km - Special 586 km - Liaison 208 km
Total 819 km

The arrival in Sahelian Africa is marked by speedy tracks surrounded by vegetation. Difficulties in finding landmarks make navigating a delicate operation in the first third of this stage, up until the malian border.

Stage 12: 2005-01-12, Kiffa to Bamako.
Photo by A.S.O.

Then follows the crossing of numerous villages. Drivers are here obliged to slow down for the security of everyone. After Nioro competitors will encounter narrow laterite tracks, which make overtaking very difficult. They will also splash through their first rivers, and perhaps encounter a few animals. In Bamako, vehicles will once more be placed in the Parc Ferme, and no mechanical interventions will be allowed.


07:30 Bikers to be transported to Bamako
The entire competitors of the Dakar rally have been deeply affected by the sad death of Fabrizio Meoni.

The bikers have expressed the wish not to compete on stage 12 between Kiffa and Bamako. The rally organisation has therefore decided, in accordance with the riders, to cancel the special and to take by airplane the competitors and their bikes to Bamako.

The special will be normally competed for the cars and trucks.


12:15 Night watch
Mechanical worries, late arrivals, injuries, bad luck and withdrawals... All you need to know about what happened on the bivouac during the night.

21h30 -- Minute of silence
Shortly before the traditional evening briefing on the bivouac, event director Etienne Lavigne asked all the competitors and people present, with the bikers at the first rows, to respect a minute of silence in honour of Fabrizio Meoni. Caps off and a knee on the ground! Fabrizio will forever remain in our minds... Farewell to the Lion of the desert.

The briefing was then aimed at telling the bikers how their airlift to Bamako would be organised. Planes, take-off times especially difficult due to the fact that the Kiffa airport has no lights.

23h00 -- Nissan without its T4
While the atmosphere on the bivouac remained extremely sad, the mechanics of the different car teams had other concerns. Nissan, for example has to cope with a new problem. With no T5 truck present because this is a marathon stage and without its T4 race assistance truck, Giniel De Villiers team will not be able to repair in Bamako. Time to check every detail on the vehicles during the whole night.

23h40 -- Lavieille on a bike
Christian Lavieille, driving a car alongside Christian Choupin, a journalist for France Televisions, took time to climb on a bike on this Dakar 2005. The former winner of the 'Bol d'Or' endurance bike race, accepted to help out Jean-Paul Higy, totally exhausted after the special and incapable of driving his Yamaha for the 230kms of liaison. For the occasion, Christian Choupin, normally a co-driver changed roles and drove the Nissan to Kiffa.

0h00 -- "Mitsu" working on navigation
Having finished the major part of the mechanical work on the vehicles, the main goal in the Mitsubishi team was to gather the co-drivers for a road-book briefing in order to prepare the Kiffa-Bamako stage.

0h30 -- Long day for Syndiely
Syndiely Wade, daughter of Senegal's president has never been so close from making it to Dakar for her third attempt. However, she suffered a very long day because of a broken gearbox on the Nissan she drives alongside Pierre-Henri Desmazures (both having their share of driving). The fifth gear and the reverse gear were no longer working. In other words the night promises to be long.

1h30 -- Bikes ready for the plane
Etienne Lavigne having asked all bikers to bring their machines as close as possible to the planes in a 'parc ferme' zone to help in the organisation of the air-lift, their are now only 3 bikes at the 'trunks' plane where most of the privateers are normally based. 43 bikes are already in the parc ferme, including all the official bikes. Jean Brucy a drawn on his KTM a 'Fabrizio' surrounded with stars while Cyril Despres has added to his race number Meoni's identification sticker.

2h15 -- Mystery on Walch's bike
Young and promising American Kellon Walch made it in 100th position of the day's special. Stranded at CP1, Walch had to repair, by himself, his KTM in order to finish the stage. Without any explanations, he then handed his bike to the mechanics of the Red Bull-KTM team. "I don't know what exactly happened or how he managed to repair. I am now going to check the bike".

3h00 -- The absent
7 bikes were still expected at the bivouac, all having finished the special and probably on their way to Kiffa. 23 cars and 19 trucks were also awaited.


13:04 Cars and trucks -- the situation
A total of 122 cars and trucks have started tha day's stage 12 between Kiffa and Bamako. 15 were forced to retire from the rally: Berkut (314), Van Deijne (393), Labrousse (451), Tartarin (379), Salinero (359), Smulevici (348), Brezzi (461), Sireyjol (421), Maimi (462), Olive (463) in the car race, Monseu (537), Taranienko (563), Jacquot (529), Bauerle (536), Biasion (517) in the truck race.


13:09 De Viliers fastest at CP1
At the first check point of the day (km 151), Giniel De Villiers (NIS) had the best time. The South African had a tiny 4" lead on Peterhansel (MIT), while Bruno Saby (VW) was third at 1'44, followed by Alphand (MIT) at 2'08 and Sousa (NIS) at 3'51".

13:14 Kleinschmidt in front
After taking off first of the special, Jutta Kleinschmidt was in front of Peterhansel and Saby just after the Mali border crossing. But because of her early starting position, the German has lost quite some time on her main rivals. At CP1, she was 5'54" adrift on the best time set by De Villiers (NIS).

13:19 Gordon stopped
After only 100km of the day's 586km special between Kiffa and Bamako, Robby Gordon (VW) was stopped with serious mechanical problems. The American appears to have wrecked his shock absorbers.


13:51 Kabirov fastest at CP1
At CP1 (km 175) of the truck special, overall leader Firdaus Kabirov (KAM) has clocked the fastest time with a tiny 23" lead on Jan De Rooy (DAF). Third is Vladimir Tchaguine (KAM) at 1'18, followed by Gerard De Rooy (DAF) at 1'40 and Hans Bekx (DAF) at 6'47.

Kabirov therefore comforts his leadership on Bekx.


14:21 De Villiers still fastest at CP2
At CP2 (km 315) of the car special, the fastest time was for Giniel De Villiers (NIS). The South African has a 1'55 lead on Bruno Saby (VW) and 3'42 on Stephane Peterhansel (MIT). Fourth, Luc Alphand (MIT) was at 5'49 while Kleinschmidt (VW) who had taken off first this morning is 7'36 adrift.

14:37 Gordon back in the special
After suffering shock absorber problems on his Volkswagen Race Touareg at km 100, Robby Gordon has managed to repair and is back on the special and driving.

14:49 De Villiers still in the lead
At km 365 of the car race, Giniel De Villiers was leading a bunch of 5 cars including Kleinschmidt (VW), Saby (VW), Alphand (MIT) and Peterhansel (MIT). In other words, the South Arican is on his way to a possible first special success this year.


16:08 De Rooy Jnr fastest at CP2
At the second check point of the truck race (km 315), the best time was for Gerard De Rooy (DAF) with a 6'35 lead on overall leader Firdaus Kabirov (KAM). Third was Jan De Rooy (DAF), 9'07 adrift while Bekx (DAF) was fifth at 16'53.

16:48 Tchaguine finally at CP2
Third at the first CP of the day (km 151), Vladimir Tchaguine (KAM) eventually made it to the second check point (km 315) with a 42' deficit on the best time set by Gerard De Roy (DAF).


17:01 De Villiers leads at CP3
At the third and final CP of the day (km 508), Giniel De Villiers (NIS) still had the fastest time of the special. Stephane Peterhansel (MIT) was second at 3'02 while his team mate Luc Aphand was at 6'31. Bruno Saby (VW) is now fourth at 6'53. Jutta Kleinschmidt on the other Race Touareg remains 12'23 adrift.

17:15 Gordon only at CP2
While the leading cars were heading to the finish line (with less than 80kms left), Robby Gordon (VW) had just made it at CP2 (km315). The American who was stopped with absorber worries (at km 100) had a 2h30 deficit on the best time set by De Villiers.

17:40 Servia hits tree
After clocking the ninth time at the third CP(km 506), Josep-Maria Servia lost precious time after hitting a tree at km 511. No injuries were sustained. The Schlesser-Ford buggy of the Spaniard appeared to be stuck in the tree and Servia had to ask for help from another competitor to eventually carry on the special.

18:08 De Villiers wins special
For the first time on this 27th edition, Giniel De Villiers (NIS) clinched the day's special between Kiffa and Bamako. The South African beat Peterhansel (MIT) on the finish line by 3'01 while Alphand (MIT) was third at 6'27. Bruno Saby (VW) finished fourth at 8'06, followed by Sousa (NIS) at 10'46. Jutta Kleinschmidt (VW) who suffered rear wheel problems crossed the line 13'45 adrift.

Stephane Peterhansel keeps the overall leadership with a 23'16 advantage on Alphand and 1h18 on Kleinschmidt.


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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Robby Gordon , Luc Alphand , Jutta Kleinschmidt , Stéphane Peterhansel , Syndiely Wade , Jean Brucy , Fabrizio Meoni , Cyril Despres , Christian Lavieille , Bruno Saby , Pierre-Henri Desmazure , Josep-Maria Servia , Kellon Walch , Firdaus Kabirov , Hans Bekx