Chaleco starts going up
SECOND OF THE STAGE, FRANCISCO LOPEZ GAINS HIS PLACE IN THE GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AND STAYS IN THE THIRD PLACE. DUCLOS IS 15TH, FARRES 28TH AND ZANOTTI OVERTAKES SIXTY RIDERS AND FINISHES 39TH.
IQUIQUE - The fifth stage of the Dakar, 427 km, finishes after a 2.3 km downhill from the dunes to the coast of the Pacific Ocean, where the bivouac is located. It is here, in the Atacama Desert, where we start to watch the greatest battles of the Dakar.
Francisco Lopez starts feeling home and when the game becomes hard, he takes the right direction. "Chaleco" started 3rd from Calama 's bivouac and after overtaking Marc Coma (who fell), he joined Cyril Despres, at the refueling. Both riders run together for the second part of the stage, taking turns to open the road. The stage win goes to Paulo Goncalves, and "Chaleco" is second, followed by Verhoeven, Coma and Despres. The Chilean rider reduces the gap from the two KTM riders; he stays third, but 18 minutes from Coma, and only 8 from Despres.
For Alain Duclos, it was the day of adjustments: Yesterday he changed the engine and in a technical stage like today, he preferred to take care of the bike and his physical condition, to be able to help Chaleco in case of need. He marked the 15th time of the day.
Gerard Farres took longer to finish the timed section due to a fuel pump problem and crossed the line in the 28th place.
Alex Zanotti, started 100th this morning, was able to carry a stage without problems. The Italian overtook about sixty riders on his way. He arrives to Iquique in the 39th place, and will be able to start in a better position tomorrow.
For the Stage 6, the Dakar will go from Iquique to Arica, the Northern border of Chile and Peru. A special stage of 456 km awaits the riders before the rest day.
Francisco Lopez: "It was a hard stage, lots of navigation, mostly at the end. It was difficult to find all way points, and from here, it will be more and more complicated. The bike went well, and after joining Cyril Despres at the refueling, we exchanged the lead of the stage until the end."
Alain Duclos: "Yesterday I changed the engine, so in the first part I didn 't wanted to demand too much to it. Then, I raised the rhythm, but always safely because I see that my race is compromised. I would like to be able to help Chaleco and all Aprilia Team."
Alex Zanotti: "To start so far behind is a nightmare. Today I don 't know how many riders I overtook, and with quads in front of you, it is almost impossible (to see anything). I fell two times in the dust because I lowered my pace and, as I couldn 't see, I lost orientation."