Stage 12 quotes


Helder Rodrigues: "I tried to put pressure on Chaleco"

"It was a superb stage, long and with a bit of everything, as well as navigational difficulties. I tried to put pressure on Chaleco and I did manage to get closer to him. There's still one stage left to go for it, anything is possible".

Francisco Lopez: "Important for me to protect my position"

"It was a stage that had everything, with sand and mud, before technical and quick tracks at the end. It was important for me to protect my position whilst Marc and Cyril battled for first place. There were 40 to 50 kilometres where it was difficult, but I managed to get to the finish and there's only one day left now. I'm happy even if I would have liked have a bit more of a battle today. The Dakar is finishing now and, like we say in Chile, you have to 'keep a cool head' for what's left. Marc and Cyril have lots of experience, 8 or 9 Dakars, I think, whilst I've only done 4. They have better, well-developed bikes. Ours is a work in progress".

Marc Coma: "Still 190 km left to race"

"Today was complicated due to all the rain that fell last night. As a result, it was a very technical stage, like in endurance racing. But it went fine. There is still a 190-km stage left to race tomorrow. Normally, there shouldn't be any complications, but we still need to race them, it's there to be done. It just shows that the route has been designed to ensure that there is suspense up to the end, so we'll just have to wait and see tomorrow".

Cyril Despres: "I gave it everything I had"

"I had to go on the attack, it's a bit second nature for me anyway, so I've been going for it since the first kilometre, even if I slowed a bit at the end. At least it's good to not have any regrets. I gave it everything I had and it was a long day. It must have rained a lot last night because the tracks were churned up with lots of mud. It was hellish. My chances are looking slimmer though. After a day like that with 555 km to cover and opportunities to open up gaps, we more or less cancelled each other out. Mind you, it's not the end of the world, you know, you have to keep things in perspective".

Quinn Cody: "I'm going to come back next year to race, not just to finish"

"It was a tough stage, really long. The first part was fun, it was sandy and I had a really good time. Then we came onto the part where the trucks had gone in front of us and they'd just made huge holes and mud puddles. That was really challenging. I'm just riding the way I would normally ride, slowly building speed with the road-book and I feel pretty comfortable with it now. I definitely want to come back. I'm going to try and put something together to come back next year and come at it to race, not just to finish. I'm trying to learn and do my best. It's working well and I'm really happy with the way things are going".


Alejandro Patronelli: "I thank God"

"You have to consider this finish as the end of this Dakar. Tomorrow it will be a big party for the organisers, for whom everything went well, for the competitors, for everyone. This Dakar is a part of myself which I've had to give up. It's really cost me something. The only thing I can do is to thank God, my family and my team. Tomorrow, if we don't manage to complete the 180 kilometres and the link stage, it won't be the Dakar. I'd like to thank everyone again, everyone who cheered me on at the tops of the mountains and everyone who helped me. I want to give them all a big kiss. What really comes through is the emotion and the thrills, it's not really sunk in yet. Tomorrow, if I can finish without any problems, it will be extraordinary. After spending 18 years riding quads with my brother, then finding myself all alone on this Dakar without him has been very tough".

Christophe Declerck: "For three days everything has been working fine"

"I 1ad a very difficult start in the first week, but then I made my way back slowly but surely and with other riders withdrawing, it paid off. It seems like it's been one long series of setbacks. That's three days now that everything has been working fine, but otherwise I've had to do repairs every day on the tracks. So, I'm happy and I think I defended my position well against the Pole".


Giniel De Villiers: "The Dakar can be cruel"

"It's a relief, because it was a really long day. This morning there was sand up to the horizon. We followed Nasser Al Attiyah, but it was very tricky in the dust. I'm happy that we've finally made it. We've had a very good race. Nasser and Carlos Sainz were quicker than us. The Dakar can be cruel, and it was for Carlos. Nasser has driven a very good race, but there's still one day left".

Krzysztof Holowczyc: "It was not possible to gain anything"

"It was a stage on which we didn't push really hard. It was not possible to gain anything and there was a lot to lose if you had problems. So we just decided to drive through it and of course it was a long stage: five-hundred and something kilometres is not a joke, but we are here at the finish and tomorrow is the last stage so I'm really happy. For sure, we are tired. The rally has been really hard this year. I was just thinking about getting to the finish. If it's worth a fight, then it's a good idea to push, but for us with one hour to the position in front, you just have to drive".

Carlos Sainz: "A small consolation"

"It went well. This victory is a small consolation. We drove well. We had to overtake a lot of competitors. There was a lot of dust and we had a puncture. But the main thing is that we finished the day and Stephane Peterhansel didn't get any closer to us. This 23rd stage victory is a good thing, but it wasn't our goal. Peterhansel has 23 as well, so we'll have to see who can get the record tomorrow".

Nasser Al Attiyah: "The hardest stage of my life"

"It's a very difficult feeling, you know because you need a lot of concentration from the start until the finish. You don't want to make any mistakes. It really was the hardest stage of my life, because I had to keep concentrated and not make any mistakes. Sometimes I was going fast, sometimes slow because I needed to keep my concentration and keep the same pace, but it was ok. We finished the stage without any problems and I'm really quite happy. The stage was really very well organised, since we didn't have any problems on the stage with the spectators. It was really fantastic".

Stephane Peterhansel: "It never rains, it only pours"

"Today was like the rest of the rally. There's always something that isn't working. When it's not the rocks, it's the thorns like what happened twice today. As a result, we put a hole in the radiator and we lost water. We had a puncture too. What with all the punctures and repairs, we had to stop 4 times, which must total around ten minutes lost. Every day there is something that goes wrong. This morning, we set off to attack, we really wanted to battle it out, not go out for a jaunt. But it never rains, it only pours..."


Vladimir Chagin: "This Dakar isn't finished"

"There's always something interesting on each Dakar. This time, everything's been fine. We've had good results on each stage seeing as we've won 7 times. But this Dakar isn't finished. There's still one day left and that will keep the pressure on all the team".

Firdaus Kabirov: "It can all change"

"Since the beginning it's been a battle between myself and Vladimir. We're both experienced, we have both won the Dakar, we have the same truck and there is still one stage left. Over these 180 kilometres it can all change".

Pep Vila: "We skidded a couple of times"

"It was a very fast stage. We were often pushing it to the limit, at around 150 kmph. After 100 kilometres there was a 60-km portion of very muddy, very narrow track. We skidded a couple of times and that's when Kabirov overtook us. After that, we tried to make sure of 3rd place, but then we managed to get some speed up again on the quick tracks leading to Cordoba with fantastic landscape just before the city. I'm very happy with this Dakar. Our worst result on a stage has been 8th place and in the general standings we're in 6th position. We'll try and hold on to it. The truck in front is 1 hour 30 ahead and the one behind us trails by 3 hours. All we have to do is take it easy and finish".

-source: dakar

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Carlos Sainz , Stéphane Peterhansel , Cyril Despres , Marc Coma , Krzysztof Holowczyc , Vladimir Chagin , Firdaus Kabirov , Helder Rodrigues , Francisco Lopez , Pep Vila , Alejandro Patronelli , Quinn Cody , Christophe Declerck