2011 Dakar RallyThe atmosphere of the 2011 Dakar Rally is getting hotter. Not only temperature wise, about 40 degrees Celsius on Monday for Stage 2 of 13, but with a special stage of 300 km.
The Aprilia Giofil Dakar 2011 riders left the bivouac this morning in Cordoba at 5.30 a.m. and the timed section started almost two hours later in direction to San Miguel de Tucuman.The Dakar landscape reminds of the savanna while Aprilia Giofil Taureg 450 riders were approaching the Andes Mountains. The special of the day was dusty, but not much navigation was required. For this reason, Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez, who started in the seventh position this morning, found himself in a dust cloud when he reached Street and Conçalves, so it took the Aprilia rider time to overtake.Also, Lopez avoided an accident with a horse, and even after all that, he reached the fourth position of the stage, only four minutes behind Monday’s Dakar winner Cyril Despres (KTM Rally 450).A great start for the Dakar, even if the Chilean has decided to go smoothly aboard the Aprilia, waiting for the grounds where he can do his best, the Atacama desert, and most of all, the long Dakar stages coming up. Overall, Lopez is fourth, 6:41 seconds behind Cyril Despres.Lopez’s Aprilia co-rider, Gerard Farres, has ridden the Aprilia in perfection, a perfect balance of speed and safety, not so far from his leader. The Catalonian is sixteenth of the day.As for the other Aprilia riders, Alex Zanotti, is currently 13th. San Marino´s rider had still some problems with the brake and couldn´t find the right rhythm, while Joan Barreda had a black day. The young Spaniard fell of the bike at a high speed and was obligated to abandon.
Tomorrow, competitors will head to San Salvador de Jujuy for the fourth stage. 752 km from San Miguel de Tucuman to San Salvador de Jujuy, and 521 of them will compose the timed section of the third stage.