Stage 14 - Santa Rosa to Buenos Aires Saturday, January 16 Quotes of the stage Bike: Cyril Despres: "A lot of emotion" All victories are nice but this one is particularly beautiful. It is the victory of hard work, of expertise and of an ...
Stage 14 - Santa Rosa to Buenos Aires
Saturday, January 16
Quotes of the stage
Cyril Despres: "A lot of emotion"
All victories are nice but this one is particularly beautiful. It is the victory of hard work, of expertise and of an incredible team. There are 9 of us in the team and not one of us ever let go. We all wanted to win; we all wanted to fight hard and we won. It's just fantastic. Of course there is a lot of emotion. We left Lac Rose three years ago in 2007. Since then we have had three tough years, three years of injuries, training, hard times. We can only be moved by this third victory. I am still human; I know I have been riding this bike for 15 days and I am exhausted but the little strength I had left just went in tears. KTM played a big part in this victory. They trusted us. We chose everyone. We have been working 24/7 for months. One thing is clear; I was not afraid of losing. I just wanted to win. And this will to win was stronger than the fear of losing. It was a tough Dakar, a beautiful Dakar and I am so glad I won.
Pal-Anders Ullevalseter: "The party is on for weeks to come"
I remembered this stage last year and my mind was focused on the rear wheel and the rear tire. I was careful at the start not passing 150 km/h. Then after 100 km, I started riding at full speed. I wanted to finish. I took my chance and wowwww it's great. Chaleco Lopez was 4 minutes behind in the standings but today he was starting 6 minutes behind me. So I had no idea where he was, no control over him. It was a very long stage for me. Finish second in the standings is more than I expected. I had dreamed of it and there it is. On this Dakar, I only had good times. No problem, no crash. The bike worked well. I may not be the fastest rider but I am experienced. It is my eighth Dakar. I know how to navigate, I know the technique and I am much more relaxed as well. It's important. With my first stage victory yesterday, I have lived so many things in two days. It's great times. The party is on for weeks to come now. I've been training for this moment for 25 years.
Francisco Lopez: "Three riders on the podium and I am one of them"
As a rider of course I am very happy about this Dakar edition. I worked all year to get a good result. In this edition, there were a lot of very experienced riders like Marc (Coma) or David (Casteu). But we know the race; it leaves people by the side of the road. Others have mechanical problems: the tires or the chain as was the case for me. A Dakar raid is all of that at the same time. It's the sum of many things. In the end there are three riders on the podium and I am one of them! We fought hard with Pal (Anders Ullevalseter). Then I decided to leave it thinking that third place was not bad at all. Of course, being second is even better but trying to win a place and lose the podium all together, no way! So yesterday night we decided to play it safe with the bike, the tires... The podium is a victory for my family, my friends, all the Chileans who supported me. I would like to thank my family. One day I told them: "I don't want to study. I want to ride bikes" and they said: "Go for it! It's your passion!" And here I am on a Dakar podium. I have achievements. I have a career! I will tell you what I think at the bottom of my heart: I took a great decision committing with Aprilia. Everyone was telling me I would never finish a Dakar on a brand new bike. With only three months preparation, I rank third! But it must be said that the team was great. The Chileans and the Italians got along really well. Next year, I am sure we will have an even better bike.
Ruben Faria: "This stage is a gift"
I am very happy. I did the Dakar to help Cyril Despres, so he would win. Last night, we were laughing and I told him that I was 1 minute shy of ranking 11th and he told me: "Tomorrow, drive faster; try to get this 11th place". So I did. And I won the stage. I am thrilled. And I am so happy that Cyril has won the Dakar. This stage is a gift to me from Cyril but the goal was always that he would win the Dakar.
David Fretigne: "Impatient to experience the 2011 edition"
There were 3 min between Alain Duclos and I before the last special stage and I was ahead. Knowing that the last stage was just a straight line of 200km, honnestly, yesterday I was a bit worried. We worked a lot on the bike with the mechanics. Today the 450c Yamaha was really fast. I drove at 160km/h whereas in the beginning of the rally I was complaining a bit. It paid off. It was a good stage. I did not get to third place but in the end, I am fifth after breaking down in the dunes and being stuck there for more than 1h45. I could not have hoped for anything better. I won stages. I was steady throughout the raid and I proved I could be there and tend towards victory. Next year we will all have 450cc bikes. I am impatient to experience the 2011 edition where we will all fight with the same bikes. A lot of new brands arrived on the Dakar lately. A lot is new. That's good. The race is back on...
Marcos Patronelli: "More than a dream"
One thing is sure: I would never have imagined this, not even in my wildest dreams. It's incredible that two brothers finish first and second of the same raid! This Dakar was very hard. I cannot say more than that, except that I must thank my team. We are a family pushing hard, doing what it takes. I am also happy for my brother: it's his first Dakar and he finishes second! Who wouldn't be proud? The toughest part in this edition is really the stages in Northern Chile: Antofagasta -- Copiapo, Iquique -- Antofagasta. They were endless and very complicated. Navigation was hard there. We had to be really focused with all the way points. I am thrilled and I think that the fact that two brothers finish first and second is just making history. We will celebrate that!
Carlos Sainz: "I fought so hard..."
A very, very important day for me. I won in Europe, in Spain and today in the Dakar. I am really happy and relieved. I would first like to thank my co-pilot Lucas Cruz for his wonderful work and the team as well as all of those who trusted me for so long. There was no problem at all with the car. There is not a single bump on its body. We drove very fast, but we were clever too. It was a tough and daily fight against my teammate. I knew it would be like that. I fought so hard. Today was a very special special stage. I could not afford any mistake. Straight ahead, crossing, straight ahead, crossing. We had to master everything and control our emotions. But it has been like this for a week!
Nasser Al-Attiyah: "Next year... for victory!"
It's ok. I'm pretty happy. This second place is a good result for me. I never got this high in the standings. This morning I really went for it but we knew the stage would be a long straight line. I am thrilled I won the stage. I really tried all I could... but well... My main feeling is joy. We raced a great Dakar, no mistakes, no problem with the car. It all worked out fine: the team, the co-pilot, the car. We finish the Dakar with three Volkswagen on the podium. Congratulations to à Carlos Sainz. What matters is that a Volkswagen won. I am happy for Carlos. He did his job. I tried to do mine. Next year, I'll win. But now I'll go shake hands with Carlos; he's part of the team.
Mark Miller: "Very happy for Sainz"
First I am very happy the Dakar is over. It was two very long weeks. I think we did a good job in the team. I am very happy for Carlos Sainz. We have been working together for 5 years and he's a great teammate. He helped me a lot and he has always been very present for the team. I am grateful for that. For me, the raid was only good times; even if some were better than others. For me the best time is not so much my stage victory but the La Serena stage. I was in the lead at mid-stage but I lost time behind Chicherit later. But it was a great satisfaction because for many years I had suffered in the WRC type stages and there, I was up for it. This will be good for next year. I loved the struggle for final victory. Since que Nasser joined the team, he has brought a lot. The level of all of us went up a notch.
Stephane Peterhansel: "Great potential"
We did not have much to hope but we were tense because we did not want to prevent the duel between Carlos Sainz and Nasser Al Attiyah. So we had to drive fast to leave them clear of our dust but not too fast in order not to take too much risk. I have mixed feelings because during the two weeks we had the potential to match the cars in the lead and even to win but a mechanical problem cost us more than 2 hours and I now see that it is more or less the gap between us and the winners in the standings. The car is great and we are happy of the work done all year long with the X3; it is good omen. We might have lack a bit of time to prepare as we only became part of the team 8 months ago. But if we are back with the same deal and the same team next year, our ambitions will be even higher.
Guerlain Chicherit: "I really wanted one"
We know the stage because we drove it last year in the other direction but it was special this year. I did not really feel any pressure because I was rather confident about my speed. I therefore knew that I could keep that pace without bothering Carlos and Nasser in their duel and without taking too much risk. Of course, I had to avoid mistakes on this last day or I would have had problems with my team. So I strated fast and I knew they would not catch up with me! I am leaving the Dakar with a stage victory and it is true that I really wanted one. I almost got one several times with stages where I could not stay in the lead till the end because of electrical problems we had. Now we showed that the car was fast and that I was fast enough to compete with the best. All I need is a bit more consistency throughout the Dakar and to be a bit better on some of the terrains. I know that the speed I gained is a speed I can keep without taking risks, which was not the case last year. Now I can keep the pace of the best on a 600-km stage without risking my life.
Vladimir Chagin: "A fabulous result for Kamaz"
It's our team's ninth victory. There are not many teams with such a track record. This is the result of a year, of several years of work. Last year was good with Firdaus' victory; this year is an even bigger success. A fabulous result for Kamaz. Our team is really strong. I think it wants victory more than the other teams.