Stage 13: Labe to Tambacounda January 13, 2006 Connection 7 km - Special 348 km - Connection 212 km Total 567 km Bike: Giovanni Sala (ITA -- KTM -- 1st) "I am very happy about this victory. Today's stage was very fast and dangerous, with many...
Stage 13: Labe to Tambacounda
January 13, 2006
Connection 7 km - Special 348 km - Connection 212 km
Total 567 km
Giovanni Sala (ITA -- KTM -- 1st)
"I am very happy about this victory. Today's stage was very fast and dangerous, with many holes. So, I avoided taking too many risks. Then, in the mountains, it looked like an enduro course. And enduro is my business (laugh). When I reached the refueling, I saw that Blais was already there and I worried a bit. So, I attacked as much as possible until the end to protect my third place in the overall ranking."
Alain Duclos (FRA -- KTM -- 3rd)
"Today, I had to keep an eye on Rodrigues to protect my advantage on him in the 450 CC overall standing. He started ahead of me so I had to attack to catch him up. And as a result I think I gain another couple of minutes on him. It's great but not enough to be totaly comfortable. I am quite surprised of my third place in the special. I didn't like the stage. There was to much trial for me. I was not at ease and felt like I was riding quite slowly. But obviously, it was enough."
Cyril Despres (FRA -- KTM - 2nd)
"It was a nice stage. The first 40 kilometres were quite dangerous because of the huge crowd on each side of the laterite track. So I didn't attack. But then, for about 120 kilometres, the track was half enduro, half trial, and it was much more enjoyable in spite of our heavy material. I rode the whole stage in front of Coma who remained in my dust. A little problem: my feet hit something and twisted. Luckily, I have very good protections, so I am OK."
Marc Coma (SPA -- KTM -- 4th)
"I enjoyed this stage. Beautiful and technicaly demanding. I only had a little problem at kilometre 260, when I hit a stone. The stage didn't require special navigation skills. I am happy, but nothing's been done yet. I know that tomorrow's stage can have many surprises in store. What is important in a rally-raid like the Dakar, is that you have to be focused on your goal every day until the end and control your emotions."
Jonah Street (USA - KTM - 5th)
"Another good day for me on a stage even faster than yesterday's, but sometimes a bit dangerous. I stopped when I saw Azevedo on the ground and stayed with him for about five minutes. Except a tiny mistake, I have been almost perfect in navigation. Actually, I improve every day. For me, the rally should last one more week to enter the top 10."
Luc Alphand (FRA -- MIT -- 1st)
"It was a very difficult stage today. You can't compare it to the Mauritanian ones, but it may have been the most difficult one in terms of driving, especialy in the mountain. So we didn't take a single risk on this section, what didn't prevent us from damaging a part under the car when we hit a rock. This morning, the only question was: Is Giniel going to try and attack us, or is he going to settle for his second place? Luckily, we left first this morning and avoided the dust. So we could focus on the race, and that was important since the navigation was not so easy. We are satisfied with this result and the minutes we gain on Giniel. And tomorrow we can afford to relax a bit."
Carlos Sainz (SPA - VW - 2nd)
"It was a difficult stage for us today, since we drove all day long in the dust. After 30 kilometres, we caught up Magnaldi and Vigouroux and waited during 60 kilometres before seizing the first opportunity to overtake them. Then, on the last 10 kilometres, I caught Saby up, and followed him until the end, with absolutely no visibility. Apart from that, nothing special happened except a puncture at the end."
Giniel De Villiers (SAF - VW - 3rd)
"We did quite a good stage today, except a waypoint we looked for in the bush. This mistake coast us about 2 minutes. There were many traps in the first part of the stage and I didn't take a risk. But then, I attacked on the whole second half of the stage. I drove as fast as I could, in spite of the dust, and tried and protect my second place in the overall ranking, what is far more important than a result in a stage. Anyway, Luc was absolutey uncatchable today."
Bruno Saby (FRA -- VW -- 4th)
"It was very difficult today. I don't really know how the guys ahead managed to battle for victory. But it was hard for the drivers as well as for the cars. For us, there was no question: we had to drive safely enough to be able to assist Giniel in case of troubles. But we stayed in Guerlain Chicherit's dust and had to wait for a while before we could overtake him. Luckily, he missed a waypoint and had to make a u-turn to find it. That's where we overtook him. Then we caught Giniel up and stayed in touch until the end."
Nani Roma (SPA - MIT - 5th)
"It is a good day for me since I am third of the overall ranking, with an advantage of one hour on Stephane who is fourth. Yet, I punctured twice and lost a bit of time. Sainz overtook me, but I saw Mark Miller stopped on the side of the track. It is also a good stage for the team since Luc clocked the first time and assured his leading place in the overall ranking. And the main goal for "Mitsu" is still to win in Dakar. For me, tomorrow's stage will be the most difficult since there is a place on the podium at stake."
Yoshio Ikemachi (JAP - TOY - 1st production)
"Today, the stage was both tricky and fast. There were many stones on a narrow track. Luckily, we had clocked a good time yesterday, so we started in a good position this morning. And, actually, I am more than happy to think that we'll be in dakar, in less than two days."
Firdaus Kabirov (RUS -- KAMAZ-- 2nd)
"The first sixty kilometres were quite easy and fast in spite of the dust which made the overtakings difficult, unless you took many risks. A truck, it is to heavy to drive and the tinest mistake can have many consequences. So I had rather drive safely. Stacey was just behind fast cars and managed to gain a few minutes on me. And now, he is second at the overall. But hyas been lucky so far. We will stay focused on every detail to make sure not to waste the work we made last week."
Vladimir Chagin (RUS -- Kamaz -- 3rd)
"I didn't want to drive to fast. We were comfortable enough to give up one hour to Stacey. It was not important. There was no need to attack today. We just had to control the race."
Hans Stacey (NED - MAN - 1st)
"The track was the most beautiful one I've ever seen in Le Dakar. The course was technical and also risky because of the crowd along the roads. Of course I'm glad to win the speciale today but I'm even more satisfied to get the second position overall. I'm between the two Kamaz and my unique goal now is to keep this position. I've been told that dutch media are crazy about me. I look forward to coming back home to celebrate".