Stage 11 - Santiago to San Juan Wednesday, January 13 Quotes of the stage Bike: Frans Verhoeven: "I attacked from the start" "I'm very happy to be here at the end of the stage. I had a lot of difficulties during the first 2 or 3 days. We're...
Stage 11 - Santiago to San Juan
Wednesday, January 13
Quotes of the stage
Frans Verhoeven: "I attacked from the start"
"I'm very happy to be here at the end of the stage. I had a lot of difficulties during the first 2 or 3 days. We're here with a brand new bike, it's a BMW, and we didn't really know that much about it so we sort of jumped into the deep end with it. Now everything is under control, the bike is running much better and I'm getting used to riding a 450. Today I attacked from the start of the special until the end. First, I was a bit in the dust behind Duclos, but then I overtook and I continued to attack. I'm very happy to have won the stage today".
Cyril Despres: "220 km in a flash"
"It was a nice stage again. The organisers have really done a great job. It was strange at the beginning, because after 13 km, there was a banner stopping us following a track. I went straight ahead for about 80 metres before turning round after I saw Marc Coma coming back in the other direction followed by other riders. After that, we carried on as a group. It happens sometimes, I suppose. That said, I rather enjoyed myself. It was quick today, 220 km in a flash. Was I being extremely careful? No. When I climb on the bike, I just can't hold myself back. I just want to have fun".
Alain Duclos: "It's a good end to the day"
"It's obviously a good performance for me. That said, I had a bit of a patchy day. I fell off after 80 km when my front wheel skidded out. Then, on the quick section, I thought I was burning the rubber on my tyres, so I slowed my maximum speed down. After that, I lost a bit of my gear selector, so I thought it would be better to follow Frans (Verhoeven) who is very good on this type of very technical route. I hung on and in the end I managed to put in the 3rd best time, in spite of a day that wasn't brilliant. But I'm not going to complain about it. Today, the race wasn't too great for me, but it's a good end to the day. So much the better. It just goes to show that on a Dakar anything can happen. My aim is still to be in the Top 5. That was my goal at the start, and I'm fighting to make it come true, I'm really getting stuck in".
Sebastian Halpern: "I've come back home with a victory"
"It's great to be back home. I'm from Mendoza, but I often come here to San Juan for work and my fiancee even lives here. I won in Fiambala before we entered Chile and I've come back to Argentina with a victory! It's great! At the start, the stage was just a long earthen track, until around the 100-km point. After that, it was quicker. Then there was a long stony section, followed by a small stream before a bit of fesh-fesh. In all, it was quite a quick stage".
Guerlain Chicherit: "It's good to drive with a bit of freedom"
"Our boss had been asking us to take it easier, because in the state of things, we haven't been able to make an impact. So, yesterday evening, I asked him to let me off the leash. It was a short special and over 200 kilometres, we could handle any problems that might occur. He told me to go for it but to make sure I kept the car on the road. So, I told Tina (Thoerner) that this was our stage. I attacked right from the start and we nearly crashed with Nasser. He didn't want to let us past. We were door-to-door for around 100 metres. He shot in front of me in a bend, but in the next one I move ahead of him, and after that I was away. It was a close shave. It's good to drive with a bit of freedom. I wanted to do better on this Dakar, because I had predicted a podium finish and even outright victory. But we had problems right from the start and they stuck with us. After that, I had to drive for Stephane (Peterhansel) who was doing well. This year, I've identified the terrains on which I don't do well enough. I'll work hard and come back stronger next year".
Carlos Sainz: "We couldn't do anything"
"We had two slow punctures. I don't know how we got them. We kept losing time and had to stop. Mark (Miller) overtook us and when we got going again, we were in his dust. We couldn't do anything. There were lots of trees on the stage and we hit quite a few of them".
Nasser Al-Attiyah: "I want to win the Dakar"
"It's unbelievable! I thought that this stage would be easy, but it wasn't easy. We were in the dust behind Carlos (Sainz), and then we left the road and hit a big tree. We are lucky we did not roll the car. Today, I took 5 minutes from him and now the gap is only 4 minutes. The next 3 days will be very long! Yes, absolutely, Carlos is nervous. But me, I want to win the Dakar".
Firdaus Kabirov: "We kept a good pace going"
"Today, it was a very fine stage. The route was winding in the lower parts. Unlike the stage that finished in Santiago, there was no slowing down. We kept a good pace going throughout the special. We even drove through a river. The images on TV should be nice. What was missing from this stage was some navigation. The changes in direction were all indicated. There was just a little bit of uncertainty for finding the Way Points in the sand, that's all. That's probably way the gaps were very small at the finish".