Dakar : Leg 6 - First news
Entering Mauritania already means a lot for the competitors. The first serious difficulties and the tricky tracks of Morocco are behind them. The course heading to Zouerat is long with a first long liaison of 336km that will force the competitors
to take off in the middle of the night. They will then have to cope with a first transition special. After a rather technical start, the bikers and drivers will go totally off-road but on rather fast terrain. One will however need to avoid navigational mistakes. There will indeed be less guiding points.
The top bikers could well cover the stage together after following the tracks of the openers. The first three of yesterday's stage, Despres, Coma and Esteve, could even be caught up by a few other companions, not as dangerous in the overall. De Gavardo, Caldecott, Casteu or Ullevalseter are indeed well positioned to manage such a performance.
Esteve fastest at CP1
After 221 kilometres of racing (CP1), Isidre Esteve has established the fastest time so far with a 54'' advantage on Marc Coma, 2'24'' on Despres. The first three of yesterday's stage who took off in the first three positions this mornring are almost bunched. On the other hand, it appears that Ruben Faria and Carlo De Gavardo, that had taken off behind the race leaders, have probably made a navigational mistake. They indeed went through CP1 23' adrift.
Despres stopped at km 273…
Title holder Cyril Despres appeared to have suffered a crash at km 273. Marc Coma and Isidre Esteve riding alongside the Frenchman stopped to launch the Iritrack alarm... But it appears that Despres is back on his feet repairing his bike while the two Spaniards have taken off.
…Despres back on his bike
After suffering a crash at km 273, Cyril Despres is back on his bike and riding. He stopped a while to repair and has therefore lost some time on his main rivals Marc Coma and Isidre Esteve riding together.
Four riders together before CP2
Four riders were riding together with 9kms to go before CP2 (km 360) : Coma, Esteve, Despres and De Gavardo... About 10 minutes behind one man on his own : Andy Caldecott.
Shinozuka stopped after start of special
1997 Dakar winner, Kenjiro Shinozuka was forced to stop because of a rear triangle problem, 8kms after the start of the special. He is awaiting his assistance vehicle.
Schlesser fastest at first CP
Jean-Louis Schlesser in his buggy has clocked the fastest time at the first CP (km 221). He only has a 3" advantage on team mate Thierry Magnaldi. Third is Carlos Sainz at 1'39".
Press Release Amaury Sport Organisation