Monterde affords his best result in 2005 Dakar The teams could finally put away the sand shovels yesterday as the trail from today on heads over rocky sub-surfaces, through bush or Savannah landscapes. From the southernmost point of this year's...
Monterde affords his best result in 2005 Dakar
The teams could finally put away the sand shovels yesterday as the trail from today on heads over rocky sub-surfaces, through bush or Savannah landscapes. From the southernmost point of this year's Dakar Rally, Bamako (the capital of Mali), 63 cars started this morning at 6:25 a.m. heading towards Kayes. It was a fast-track at first all the way to the Manantali-Dam before the drivers went deeper and deeper into the bush. On narrow, dusty trails, the drivers had to keep a heightened eye out for wild animals which frequently and unexpectedly crossed their paths. Towards the end of the special the trail led through the Tambaoura-Cliffs before the participants reached the finish in Sadiola - a small city with an opencast goldmine.
X-raid driver José Luis Monterde took 8th place, 14:57 minutes behind the stage-winner Stephane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi). In the overall standings the Spaniard holds onto 9th place which he will, if nothing unexpected occurs, take to the finish in Dakar: "I am happy with my result, especially because it was not easy today. The laterite track was really fast but very undulated, with a lot of holes and we had to watch out. It was very dusty but the navigation was not too complicated. Tomorrow will be a long and hard day again."
Even if perhaps some of the participants can already see the finish line in Dakar in front of them in their minds, there are still a number challenges to overcome before arriving in the capital of Senegal. Tomorrow's 14th leg heads over a total of 630 kilometres to Tambacounda. With a 529 km special - it's the last time a long stage will need to be completed after which the distances of the last two specials become noticeably shorter: 225 kilometres on Saturday and 31 kilometres on Sunday will then still be included in the programme. The procession moves tomorrow at first along the border to Senegal and will then enter Savannah landscapes near Satadougou. Here the participants will have to cross the Falémé River which means that the Rally has arrived in Senegal. The route to Tambacounda offers much diversity; bush land, passages through villages and a number of small river courses that need to be crossed will keep the drivers on the move.