"Chaleco" Lopez unsoppable
THE SIXTH STAGE OF THE DAKAR 2010 WAS A BAD DAY, MARKED BY THE ACCIDENT OF THE ITALIAN RIDER LUCA MANCA, FALLEN AT KILOMETER 10 OF THE SPECIAL. LOPEZ IS 4TH IN TODAY 'S STAGE AND MAINTAINS HIS 2ND POSITION IN THE OVERALL RANKING. PAOLO CECI CONCLUDED
16TH, WHILE ZANOTTI, WHO STOPPED TO HELP HIS COMPATRIOT, FINISHED RIGHT BEHIND.
IQUIQUE - The Dakar 's sixth stage started this morning in Antofagasta heading north to Iquique, not far from the frontier with Peru and Bolivia.
The day was marked by the accident of Luca Manca. The Sardinian rider fell at kilometer 10 of the timed section and had a cranial traumatism. He was rescued by the medical helicopter and repatriated to Calama 's hospital, one of the most equipped in Chile. After the medical team stabilized him, he was transferred to Santiago, to the "Mutual de Seguridad" Hospital, to be treated in the neurosurgery department of this hospital medical center.
Starting first on today 's special, of 418 kilometers, Francisco Lopez had some difficulties opening the road, and Cyril Despres overcame him. However, he did not lost his spirit and went full gas to get back the lost time, and finishing in the 4th position. In today 's ranking Chaleco is absolute 4th, preceded by Coma, Despres and Rodriguez.
The Chilean, author of yesterday's historic victory for the team Giofil Aprilia Racing for his first time in the Dakar, maintains his 2nd place overall behind Despres.
Meanwhile, Paolo Ceci is now 16th. Today he fell at kilometer 30, nothing bad, but the bulb and the GPS were destroyed, so he had to trust his only his road book for the last 380 kms of the timed sector, finding great difficulties to get out of the dunes in the last part of the special.
Alex Zanotti stopped to help Manca, when was rescued by helicopter. Then he continued his race and finished on the 17th position of the day. He climbed up to the 24th position in the overall standings.
Tomorrow, return to Antofagasta with the longest special of the Dakar 2010: 600 kms before the rest day.
Francisco Lopez: "I had some difficulties finding the right way in the first part of the stage, and I lost a little time. Then, I decided to attack to get the lost time back. A 4th place today is really positive and it is important to maintain regularity without errors. The Aprilia RXV 4.5 has gone very well today, I am truly happy."