Stage 2 Sunday 4 January 2009 Santa Rosa de la Pampa to Puerto Madryn Special 237 km Connection 600 km BIKE: Frans Verhoeven (Nld -- 15 -- KTM) - 015 Having set off in 4th this morning from Santa Rosa, Team Vectra's Dutchman made the most of...
Sunday 4 January 2009
Santa Rosa de la Pampa to Puerto Madryn
Special 237 km
Connection 600 km
Frans Verhoeven (Nld -- 15 -- KTM) - 015
Having set off in 4th this morning from Santa Rosa, Team Vectra's Dutchman made the most of the navigation section, picking up a first stage victory on the Dakar.
"At the start it was quite technical, but then it became quicker. In the middle, there was a very difficult navigation section in amongst the vegetation and with the dust, it was impossible to see any tire tracks. I managed to find the route and at one time I saw there were no more tire tracks in front of me, so I knew I was in the lead..."
Cyril Despres (Fra -- KTM) - 001
Without a visor on his helmet and with serious damage to the front of his KTM, Cyril Despres once again had a complicated day, but still managed to finish second in the day's special stage.
"On arriving in the Pampa, I hit a tiny sod of grass, not even a cow pat and the bike went flying. I rolled over forwards. The Iritrack and the GPS broke, so it was another difficult day, but that's racing. I didn't hurt myself though: I was only riding at 20 kmph when I came off. At least this second stage is now finished. I hope all these mishaps are finished too".
David Fretigne (Fra -- Yamaha) - 012
Just like the day before, David Fretigne finished this second special stage with a broad smile on his face. The Frenchman really seems to be enjoying riding his Yamaha 450cc, and the results are following on accordingly.
"To be honest, that was 200 km of really interesting special stage. I really enjoyed myself. We had a bit of everything: quick tracks at the end, after a winding beginning on which we could slide the bike round the bends. So, just from a riding viewpoint, it was a real pleasure. There was also some off-track navigation that was very difficult. Honestly, I was really cautious about it. I thought I had lost time, but I didn't do too badly in the end. I hope I can continue like this".
Marc Coma (Esp -- 2 -- KTM) - 002
"I had a problem with the radiator. I noticed after 104 km that I had an oil leak. At the CP, which was just a few kilometers afterwards, I asked if they had any oil, because I could see it was a big leak. I had to continue, because they couldn't help me out and I decided to stop at the first place I came across where there were people to see of I could find a solution. That was at the 108-km mark. Someone from the crowd brought me an oilcan. I was able to put it to good use, but I had to stop regularly".
Carlos Sainz (Esp -- Volkswagen) - 301
At the wheel of a Race Touareg with a slightly crumpled right wing, Carlos Sainz crossed the finishing line of today's special stage as the winner... The Spaniard also takes the lead in the general standings.
"It was a very difficult stage with all the dust and the bikes. At times, we nearly had to stop. I even hit a biker at one point; I hope he's going to be ok".
Giniel De Villiers (SA - VW) - 300
1.56 behind the day's winner Carlos Sainz, Giniel De Villiers displayed good consistency by finishing 3rd in the special stage, like yesterday.
"The start of the special was very quick, but as soon as we arrived in the off-track part, it was not very easy to navigate and we got a little bit lost. We must have lost a minute or two. Then in the last section, there was lots of fesh-fesh, so it was very difficult to get past the bikers. But I tried to be cautious and avoid any mishaps. We didn't do too badly".
Stephane Peterhansel (Fra -- Mitsubishi) - 300
Slowly but surely, the title holder is getting stronger. While still adapting to his brand new Mitsubishi Lancer, Peterhansel manage to pick up second place on the special.
"This special stage was a bit more technical. There was some off-terrain work for the first time, so we had to be on our guard. But, it was okay. I caught up with Luc (Alphand) at one point. After that, we ended up in the dust thrown up by the bikers then by Miller (VW). It wasn't very nice, until we were able to overtake him. It was a short special but, in spite of that, there were some big fesh-fesh sections with quite thick vegetation. We were almost stopped at that point, because visibility was down to 1 or 2 meters. The bikers were all over the place, so we had to be very careful".