Dakar: Aprilia Giofil Stage 3 Report

2010 Dakar Rally

The Dakar entered the red zone in the third stage Tuesday, approaching the Bolivian border by the Andes Mountains for the Giofil Aprilia Team.

The Dakar 2011 stage consisted of 752 km and a special section of 521 km divided in two by a neutralization of 170 km. Grounds start to become rougher, big red canyons and gravel before reaching a forest belt in the second part of the stage.

Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez started fourth aboard the Arpilia Tuesday morning and reached KTM rider Cyril Despres, who was out of the race track. Then, Chaleco launched an attack aboard his Aprilia to get KTM rider Marc Coma, also out of the road.

Unfortunately, a stone hit the fuel adaptor at km 126 and he lost all what was left in the front tanks. The Aprilia Dakar rider lost about ten minutes to find gas and rode taking care of it after the incident.

Chaleco arrived only in the 13th position, 13 minutes from Coma, Tuesday’s Dakar Stage 3 winner. The Chilean is now seventh overall, 18 minutes away from the provisional leader Cyril Despres.

Hard journey also for Alain Duclos on his Dakar Aprilia machine. The French-Malian rider started fast this morning, after yesterday´s great performance, but fell. He joined the finish line in the 17th position, even though he had to lower his pace.

Gerard Farres finished the timed section right after Duclos aboard is Aprilia. He faced a GPS problem, which did not indicate the way point direction, and made him lost about 10 minutes.

There is no news from Alex Zanotti at the moment. The Italian accumulated a delay at each Dakar passage control. But he is not the only one still on the track, there have been a delay in the stage and many riders have not arrived to the bivouac at this time.

On Wednesday, the Dakar Aprilia team will cross the Andes Mountains to get to Chile through Paso de Jama, at 4800 m from sea level. The race will arrive to the city of Calama after a stage of 761 km, with a special section of 207.

Francisco Lopez (Aprilia Team) says: "Today I decided to attack and everything was going well, I overtook Despres and I started to get closer to Marc Coma. At a point the bike stopped and I remembered a stone hitting the connection of the front tank. It´s sad, because today it should have been a positive day."

Gerard Farres (Aprilia Team) says: "My GPS didn’t work well, it didn’t show me the way point passage and I think I was out of the race track. When I saw that there was a problem with it I continued, but I lost 10 minutes. Anyways, everything was o.k. and it´s only the third day. The important thing is to continue like this."