Stage 8 - Antofagasta to Copiapo Sunday, January 10 Quotes of the stage Bike: Marc Coma: "A good pace after the supply area" "It was a difficult day, especially because of yesterday and this problem with the penalty. It really was a strange...
Stage 8 - Antofagasta to Copiapo
Sunday, January 10
Quotes of the stage
Marc Coma: "A good pace after the supply area"
"It was a difficult day, especially because of yesterday and this problem with the penalty. It really was a strange rest day, hard and unusual. Today, I climbed back on my bike to try, like I always do, to do my best and forget all that as well. It was a fine stage with magnificent dunes at the end, whilst there were lots of stones at the beginning. Until the petrol supply point, I kept with the pace. Afterwards, I was out in front, maintained a good pace and navigated well. I'm happy with my day".
Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez: "The bike responded well"
I rode fast, especially since I finished the 7th stage on a bit of a sour note. Today, after the rest day, I wanted to put in a good finish to the stage for all these people waiting for me. I'm happy to offer this stage to the Chilean people, who are supporting me throughout the race. Today there was a bit of everything: stones, navigation and dunes. I'm pleased because it all went well and the bike responded well.
Cyril Despres: "It was an incredible day"
"I was battling against myself more than anything on today's stage! I felt good on the bike, solid, strong and not too tired. I hit 2 stones, 1 at the front and 1 at the back. I didn't really realise at the time, but when I got to the 245-km point, I saw the state my 2 wheels were in! Split in two! Smashed to bits! I was lucky because Ruben (Faria), the 2nd rider in the Red Bull team, turned up at that moment. We swapped our front rims, since I didn't think the back one needed to be changed. When I set off again I made sure I was careful in the stones to look after the back wheel. So, I'm really happy to have finished. On the Dakar anything can happen, so I didn't take any risks. We were 15' behind at the petrol point. Luckily, Ruben arrived 2 or 3 minutes behind me. He rode well and hadn't been too rough with the rims. It was a really incredible day".
Marcos Patronelli: "It was impossible to build up any speed"
"That was a stage with 400 kilometres of stones. It was very hard. It wasn't even possible to relax, you had to remain concentrated all the time. I started gently, had a puncture and lost around ten minutes. It was impossible to build up any speed. In the end, it was a good day. I believe it's still too early though to think about anything other than the next stage".
Stephane Peterhansel: "We keep on picking up the specials"
"It was tough today, with stones in parts where you had to drive carefully to avoid punctures. It required a lot of navigation too, difficult navigation as well. We also found the dunes at the end tricky to get past, especially since we didn't stop to let the tires down a bit. Since we had high tire pressure for the stones, we had to cross the dunes with 3 kilos, which isn't simple; We know that the Volkswagens are the quickest. Between Nasser (Al-Attiyah) and Carlos (Sainz) it's a real battle for 1st place. We can't have a say in that fight because we're still too far behind. But we keep on picking up the specials and trying our best".
Carlos Sainz: "The hardest stages are behind us now"
"I had a few scares today. I had 2 punctures so afterwards I didn't have a spare wheel, but there was still 180 kilometres to go. So I kept control over my speed and tried to get to the finishing line safe and sound. It was a good stage because I've increased the gap between me Nasser (Al-Attiyh) a bit. But tomorrow, he will be starting behind me and I'm sure he will catch me up. That said, I'm very pleased, because the hardest stages are behind us now. I've never seen a special with so many stones, they were everywhere! There was an incredible amount of people over the last 15 to 20 kilometres, loads of spectators and cars which helped in the end, because it showed us which was the right direction".
Guerlain Chicherit: "The car just stopped and wouldn't carry on!"
"I'm starting to lose my patience. That's 5 days now that I keep being told that the problem is solved, that they've found the fault, but in fact it's not true! Today, I started at an excellent pace. I was leading at the beginning, driving really well without taking risks; Afterwards, the car started having big problems and over the last 30 kilometres in the dunes it just stopped and wouldn't carry on. It kept cutting out and stalling. Each time there was a big dune, I had to drive round it. It was really frustrating. But we're still here, still going. That said, I really wanted to win this stage! That was my aim, but things just won't go right".
Vladimir Chagin: "I'm only thinking about driving"
"The stage after the rest day is always tricky. You always worry, because the mechanics have completely overhauled the vehicle and you don't know if you'll have the same sensations. That said, yesterday, they did some great work, since we haven't had a single technical problem on this special. The stage was difficult and interesting at the same time, but there were lots of stones. For the moment, I don't even want to think about outright victory. I'm only thinking about driving. On the Dakar anything can happen and we've still got 5 days of racing left".