Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dakar 2012 - Stage 11

Stage 11 from Arica to Arequipa would have covered 705km, but was shortened due to rain overnight.  New territory to all the riders as they head into Peru for the first time in the race.

Coma, Despres and Bort all make navigational errors, but it doesn't impact significantly on their times.  Farres Guell, a Spanish KTM rider, takes the lead briefly, but Despres pushes through and takes the stage win, pushing him 00:02:22 ahead of Coma in the overall standings.

There was some drama at a river crossing after overnight rain swelled some of the rivers and some of the bikes sucked some water into the engines as they took them across.  One of which was Rodrigues, making him lose 5 minutes and after having changed his engine the previous night, he's already lost 15 minutes.  Faria suffered the same fate with his bike getting water in, after taking a different crossing over the same river.

Goncalves got a 6 hour penalty after being towed to the finish, putting him out of contention for this year.  Pity.

So, the stage top 5 goes to Despres, Farres Guell, Coma, Aubert and Bort.  Good to see a different mix in the top 5 today.

Overall, Despres leads Coma, then it's Rodrigues, Viladoms and Svitko.

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