Dakar: Stage 13 report

Sad day on the Dakar! A sad day on the Dakar! During stage 13 of the rally between Labe in Guinea and Tambacounda in Senegal, a child was hit by a car and died during his transfer by medical helicopter. The Dakar caravan is again in...

Sad day on the Dakar!

A sad day on the Dakar! During stage 13 of the rally between Labe in Guinea and Tambacounda in Senegal, a child was hit by a car and died during his transfer by medical helicopter. The Dakar caravan is again in mourning.

In the bike race, Giovanni Sala comforted his third place overall by winning the day's stage.

With three days to go until the shores of the Lac Rose in the finish line, Giovanni Sala (KTM -- n6) needed to keep an eye on his main rival for a podium spot, Chris Blais (KTM -- n9), only 21' behind in the overall standing. The Italian did even better than that on the 348km special. He indeed captured his first special win of the year, his 9th success on a Dakar. By doing so, the 32-year-old took a serious option on final third spot. He made it to the finish line with a 9'59" advantage on Chris Blais. Sala now has a 31'34" overall lead on the American.

Second on the day, Cyril Despres (KTM -- n1) finished over three minutes adrift and moved slightly closer to overall leader Marc Coma (KTM -- n2). The Spaniard still has a 31'16" lead on the title holder. In the leading positions, one man had to bid farewell to the rally: Jean De Azevedo (KTM -- n7), 8th overall crashed just after the start of the special. Injured, the Brazilian was forced to pull out of the Dakar.

In the women's division Ludivine Puy (YAM -- n 30 was also forced to retire after a severe crash, whereas she had been the fastest female rider in the field. The Euromaster rider was transferred to Bamako, then Paris and Aix-en-Provence, where she will be operated on for cranial trauma and a broken pelvis.

Similarly, Luc Alphand had the mission of maintaining a sufficient advantage from Giniel De Villiers (VW - n 305), who didn't really pose q serious threat at more than 20-minutes behind. Alphand, left with the goal of first taking his fifth career stage win on the Dakar and then add to his lead. De Villiers, who had promised to put maximum pressure on Alphand, is still in second at 22'13".

As for today's disappointing performances, Guerlain Chicherit (BMW - n 322), who finished second, despite a puncture, on the stage to Lab e, finished today's stage 34'55" behind Alphand, after having to stop twice on the early portion of the special. Stephane Peterhansel (MIT - n 300), who lost all hope of victory on the road to Labe, is still fourth in the general standings after finishing seventh today.

In the truck division, Hans Stacey won today's stage, his fifth on the this year's Dakar. The Dutchman went 13'14'' better than Firdaus Kabirov, which was decisive in his quest to finish second genera standingsl. However, the overall victory seems assure for Vladimir Chagin, who took third place, 30'26" behind Stacey but still has a commanding 2h30'32" lead overall.

PRESS RELEASE OF THE DAKAR ORGANISATION

This morning at 10:00 AM, at km 25 of the special of stage 13 of the rally between LABE and TAMBACOUNDA, just 6kms before the village of Kourahoye, a young boy that had come with his family to see the rally go by, was hit by vehicle n420 of the car class while crossing the track.

He immediately received treatment from the medical staff of the rally but died during his transfer by helicopter to Labe.

The organisation expresses its sadness to the family of the child.

-dakar.com-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Luc Alphand , Stéphane Peterhansel , Cyril Despres , Giovanni Sala , Marc Coma , Guerlain Chicherit , Chris Blais , Vladimir Chagin , Firdaus Kabirov , Hans Stacey