FEAR FOR THE SECOND WEEK OF DAKAR
At the end of the restday, in the bivac you still hear the sounds of
wrenching, welding and hard work. Also at Dakarsport / Team Honda
Europe. Vadim Pritulyak has arrived late in de afternoon, and his bike
needs a lot of work.
He is lucky when ASO puts him on the startinglist for the 8th special,
as he did not return from the stage on time. When Henk Hellegers tells
him the good news, he gets a big high-five from Vadim. Pritulyak had
leaking fueltanks, causing him to loose a lot of petrol. After a long
wait and a lot of help from other competitiors and the crowds he
managed to reach the finish after 13 hours. In the mean time he wasn’t
so lucky as Jurgen and had a collission with a horse.. The second part
of the connection went along very high mountainpaths, with difficult
trailsections, so he and a French competitior decided to go back to
Mendoza and use the road to ride to Valparaiso.
If ASO had taken their rules literally they would have quite a lot
less competitiors in the race at the moment. A lot of cars and trucks
were still stuck in the dunes. Luckily ASO has taken a very friendly
approach here, as these tough situations happen more often in Dakar.
Especially because a lot of the assistance trucks, carrying the much
needed parts, are still stuck in the dunes.
Stage 10 and 11 will be decisive. The route Copiapo-Copiapo and the
following marathonstage will be hard to survive for most competitors.
This tough first week has not only taken out a lot of competitors, but
has also given a serious blow to morale of the teams. Some of them are
very worried about the Atacama desert. As it is a rather dry and hot
place, it is dangerous for those who do not or cannot take care of
themselves. Carlos de Gavardo, Dakar-veteran from Chile says the dunes
can be ridden well, but 670 km remains very long..
The finish in Cordoba will be very special. It appears that already
thousands and thousands are camping along the route, and more than a
million people are expected in the city itself. Quite a promise, the
team is looking forward to it – even though the competitors live from
day to day, with only the finish in Buenos Aires on their mind.
Interviews with the teammembers!
Mirjam Pol: “I crashed, and I can hardly walk. Luckily Dakar is about
riding and not about walking!”
Jurgen van de Goorbergh: “I like riding in the top 30”
Mick Extance en Eric Bowyer work together for more than 25 years:
“Yes, we also have our moments”
Gerben Vruggink, teammechanic: “Next year, I’ll ride Dakar myself!”
Read all the interviews and view the latest images on www.honda-dakar-rally.com!
Motopress: Independent Motorcycle Magazine