For the third consecutive year, the Dakar will go through Argentina and Chile, covering 9,500 kilometers, 5,000 of them timed.
With this kind of challenge, the Repsol motorcycle Dakar team is making all last-minute preparations for the event set to start this Saturday, Jan. 1, and run until Jan. 16.
Security is the main concern of the 2011 Dakar Rally organizers and the Argentine and Chilean authorities.
The population density generated by the enormous success of the rally requires many carefully studied measures, implemented in collaboration with all the authorities concerned in Argentina and Chile.
The 32nd edition of the Dakar Rally is only three weeks away. For the third consecutive year, the most famous rally in the world will be held in Argentina and Chile, with a huge number of entries in bike/quads: 230 competitors at the starting line.
They are all ready to face the 9605 km Dakar race divided in 13 stages, and so is the Team Aprilia Giofil.
KTM-supported rider Cyril Despres on Thursday finished the longest ride of the Dakar 2010 in eighth position at the close of Stage 12, trimming his substantial overall lead by just over 17 minutes on a day that favored the smaller 450 cc machines and demanded absolute concentration for nearly 800 km.
In order to preserve his position at the front of the pack and so close to the end of the rally, it was the French-born rider’s task to ride a steady, but solid race and arrive in San Rafael in good shape.
Coma declared winner of Stage 11 overnight
Way behind in the general standings, Marc Coma used the last special stage in Chile, measuring 238 km, to add a line to his roll of honour in the form of a 3rd victory on the Dakar 2010. The Catalan, on a KTM, beat Frétigné and Rodrigues. Despres still has a comfortable lead in the general standings. On 4 wheels, the duel between Sainz and Al Attiyah promised to be breath-taking. In the end, the Spaniard had the better day, picking up his first stage victory this year and increasing his lead in the general standings.
Number 2 for Lopez
In Copiapo, "Chaleco" Lopez won his second stage in Chile this year and steps onto the provisional podium for the Dakar, on which Ullevalseter also climbed a step, but still with a big gap to race leader Despres. In the car race, the stage was won by a competitor running after a lost cause: Stéphane Peterhansel, 4th in the general standings more than two hours behind Sainz, grabbed his 54th stage victory. In the truck category, Vladimir Chagin was also the quickest in the stage for the 54th time on the Dakar.
The 2010 Dakar Rally has reached the half way point and Yamaha can count on some consistent and decent performances from the likes of Helder Rodrigues and David Fretigne on WR450Fs who currently hold lofty positions in the motorcycle class. The toughest Rally in the world is once more occurring on a different continent – South America for the second year in succession – but the 9000km, 14-stage route on a loop through Argentina and Chile, beginning and ending in the Argentina capital, offers a diverse and challenge topography worthy of the title ‘Dakar’.
Dakar Rallies are always tough but KTM-supported riders Cyril Despres and Marc Coma both rode to glory on Friday before the rest day Saturday in what was a marathon 7 hours and 600 km of extreme terrain. Despres and Coma were 1-2 at the finish line and also in the overall standings.
Dakar Stage Seven Results
Click video to see the highlights from Stage Seven (7) of the 2010 Dakar. France’s Cyril Despres won Stage 7 in the motorbike category, a stage in which defending champion Marc Coma returned to being his fiercest contender in the overall standings.
Some stages alone can represent several episodes of a race, which was the case for Stage 7 which took competitors back down the northern-Chile coast to a well-earned rest day in Antofagasta. The sheer distance and a mix of different terrains made life very tough for those remaining in the race.
Cyril Despres and Marc Coma on Friday showed rally enthusiasts why they are the best in the world when they finished 1-2 after a grueling 600km special in the deserts of Chile in the seventh stage of the Dakar 2010 with just 29 seconds separating them.
Francisco Lopez wins a second special stage in his Dakar career in Chile once again and strategically places himself as the true challenger of Cyril Despres following him at 37’37” in the standings after a gloom and doom stage for Casteu – who had to withdraw – and for Coma. In the car category, Stéphane Peterhansel drops down the standings. His misfortune is a blessing for Volkswagen with Mark Miller winning his first special stage on a Dakar and Sainz taking the lead in the standings.
Dakar Stage Five Results
Click video to see the highlights from Stage Five (5) of the 2010 Dakar. Francisco Lopez wins a second special stage in his Dakar career in Chile once again and strategically places himself as the true challenger of Cyril Despres following him at 3737 in the standings after a gloom and doom stage for Casteu who had to withdraw and for Coma.