Stage 3: Nador to Er Rachidia January 2, 2006 Connection 237 km - Special 314 km - Connection 121 km Total 672 km Bike: Andy Caldecott (Aus -- KTM Repsol -- 1st) "I think I have been lucky. I started 28th today, far behind the leaders....
Stage 3: Nador to Er Rachidia
January 2, 2006
Connection 237 km - Special 314 km - Connection 121 km
Total 672 km
Andy Caldecott (Aus -- KTM Repsol -- 1st)
"I think I have been lucky. I started 28th today, far behind the leaders. I think it eased the stage for me in terms of navigation. I am quite surprised to win today, since I didn't really prepare for this rally. For the coming days, I won't change anything. I will ride at my pace. Maybe it will work but it is not my main goal. Otherwise, I'll ride for the team."
Andy Grider (USA -- KTM-USA -- 2nd)
"I felt myself at home today. The stage looked like the bajas we ride in the USA. So, I was quite at ease. I had no problem of navigation since I only had to follow the riders who started before me. Anyway, I am quite surprised to clock such a good result early in the rally. Actually, I am here to learn. And I am sure the dunes stages will much more difficult for me."
Cyril Despres (FRA, KTM Gauloises, 3rd)
"It's not important to be the leader of the race today because I was continuously stressed by the speed limitation during the stage. I was afraid of falling down. It's more worries than anything else, you have to increase and decrease your speed all the time (...) Now that the stage is over, I'm so tensed about that. I do hope that was just a training day and that I made mistakes because of my driving but I didn't enjoy the course at all "
Carlo de Gavardo (Chi - KTM Repsol -- 4th)
"I was a nice stage. It was a bit dangerous since there were many holes and stones on the course. I threat myself twice since I was riding very fast, just at the speed limit and it was very shaky. But everything went on well. I made a little mistake when I followed Despres. We got lost together. Hopefully we quickly found the good track."
Jose Manuel Pellicer ( Esp - KTM -- 5th)
"It was a very fast stage. Very fast indeed. I fell as I was passing over a huge hole. When I saw it was that huge, I jumped off my bike because I was very surprised. I fell on the ground and broke my helmet. But everything is OK. Actually I think I took too many risks. When I caught up the leaders, I stayed with them. But they rode definitely too fast for me. And on this kind of stage, it is too dangerous for me."
Robby Gordon (USA -- Hummer -- 5th)
"It was a good day. We clocked a good time and I am very satisfied with this result. I lost myself in the early stage following Chicherit. At this time, Schlesser overtook us. Hopefully, we quickly managed to find the good way. Otherwise, it was a fast stage in spite of the holes and the stones. Actually, it looked a bit like a baja quite technically demanding."
Jutta Kleinschmidt (All.- VW -- 4th)
"The race has really started now. It was a nice stage, fast and technically demanding until the first Check Point. Then it became quite rough. I overtook Sousa after 140 kilometres and then I caught up Miller. In fact, the gaps are very small. It's very interesting. And tomorrow, for sure, I will attack."
Jean-Louis Schlesser (FRA -- Buggy -- 1st)
"This result must be a surprise for some people, but not for us. We always said that we'll be competitive. This is only a confirmation. As always for the winner, we had a perfect day without any problem even if we suffered of the dust like anyone. Our opponents are very strong this year but we proved today that our small two wheels buggy could compete with the big factory cars. It's good for the Dakar. But my biggest satisfaction is to win with a car that I've entirely conceived"
Stephane Peterhansel (FRA, Mitsubishi, 3rd)
"The race was very fast today with many traps. Navigation was important even if I could follow the right marks in the sand (...) Le Dakar is actually open, front-runners are ready to fight and they are on the track to win. This includes Jean-Louis (Schlesser), he's a talented driver, he can be the number one at Dakar "
Hiroshi Masuoka (JAP, Mitsubishi, 2nd)
"Nothing special, the stage was fast and we had to be careful at the beginning because there were a lot of motobikers on the road. Everything went fine with the car. I have a good feeling for the next days to come because this is going to be my playground "
Vladimir Chagin (RUS -- KAM -- 1st)
"It was a good race today, a very classical rally race. This stage in Morocco included many ouadis. The only issue for us was to overcome some 40 cars and that was pretty dangerous because of the dusty roads".
Miki Biasion (ITA - Iveco - 3rd)
"I'm very happy about the result today because we couldn't test the truck before the start of Le Dakar. The truck needed a three-month preparation but we noticed that everything was fine with it. We just had a problem with the brakes which I used a lot during the stage and now we have to change the disc brakes"
Hans Stacey (NED - MAN - 3rd)
"Since I am a former rally pilot, I wanted to attack as soon as the first speciale in Portugal but I lost two hours after damaging the truck. Yesterday, I couldn't take part in the race because of a major crash. So I started in the 44th position this morning and I was motivated to achieve a great result. I attacked until the CP2 and then I slowed down because of dust roads. I am truly satisfied of my day even if I know that I can't catch up with Kamaz trucks for the moment."