The Dakar is now in Chile
AFTER CROSSING THE ANDES MOUNTAINS, THE DAKAR ARRIVES IN CHILE WITH ITS FOURTH STAGE. TODAY 'S SPECIAL WAS SHORTENED 40 KILOMETERS. LOPEZ IS ABSOLUTE 4TH OF THE DAY AND KEEPS THE 7TH POSITION IN THE OVERALLS, WHILE CECI IS 16TH AND 11TH IN THE OVERALL
COPIAPO - The Dakar 's caravan left Fiambala this morning at 5h30am to cross the border to Chile in the Andes Mountains, before arriving to the Atacama Desert. The start was planned for 4am, but it was delayed an hour and a half due the delay of many competitors that were still on the last special, which was a very difficult stage.
For this reason, today 's timed section was shortened in 40 kilometers and the end was changed to CP3. Almost four hundred kilometers of road connection to overcome the Paso San Francisco, located at 4700 meters of altitude, then the Chilean Customs and finally the Special of the day, a very fast track, great for high cylinder bikes.
Everything was OK for this stage that leaded Lopez into his homeland. Yesterday night, technicians of Team Giofil Aprilia Racing have worked on the mapping of the electronic transmission controller to limit the RXV 4.5 consumption, which has been the problem for the Chilean rider in the last two stages.
Today Chaleco was 4th, five minutes away from the unleashed winner Marc Coma and in overall standings, and he maintains the 7th overall position 39 minutes behind the leader, Cyril Despres.
Paolo Ceci is doing of his regularity his best weapon. The Italian rider has enjoyed navigating and concluded 16th of the day, maintaining his 11th position in overall standings.
More problems today for Farres and Zanotti. Both started in the back, so they had to face a very dusty special, overtaking many risks, especially Zanotti who had to overcome a large group of quads, using at least half of the special trail for it, and forced to reduce his pace. Lots of passing and dust for Gerard Darres, who managed to finish 21st. Tomorrow, the sixth stage from Copiapo to Antofagasta promises to be a very important day: The Atacama Desert will be the scenario for a 483 km special from a total of 670 of the stage.
Francisco Lopez: "It was a great stage today, very fast, little navigation. We finally arrived in Chile and now things get serious. I think we managed to resolve the problems of consumption, now we are trying to get back what we've lost."
Paolo Ceci: "Today went well; it was a nice but fast special. The first part was over 3000 meters of altitude, so not everybody could go full gas. After fifty kilometers I reached Pellicer and from there I started to navigate solo, with him next to me. It was a very funny stage; off track navigation and looking for CAPs"
Alex Zanotti: "Starting back is doing most of the special covered by an enormous dusty cloud. Just before I leave, a quad group took the start, so it took me hundred kilometers to be able to pass them, and I was going at a low rhythm, not faster than 70km/h."