By in 2009, Archivio, Enduro on 5 gennaio 2009
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The first stage of the Dakar 2009 caused a lot of commotion. And
already the first competitors are out of the rally. Amongst them
unfortunately also team member Ebert Dollevoet. A dislocated shoulder
meant an early retirement from his Dakar. The organization had already
announced it, the stage of today was going to be very fast. And indeed
it was: a highest average of 133 kilometers per hour in the bikes and
142 kilometers in the cars was measured!

The first days in the Dakar in Morocco used to mean riding in the
dust. The first day in South America was ,,back to the dust” as Mick
Extance(43rd) called it. Extance: ,,This was a day like we used to
have in Morocco. It’s now a matter of getting through these first
days, the expectations are the stages will get more technical after
day 3. This was a day that suited the big bikes.”

Mirjam Pol had a good start of her Dakar. She was 45th in the stage.
Pol: ,, I tried to pick up the pace as fast as I could. I was riding
comfortably at 120, 130 kilometers per hour. My roadbook broke in two
in the last part of the stage. I decided not to stop, to avoid losing
time. Stopping could have cost me 5 to 6 minutes easily. A result like
this I used to get only in the second part of the rally, so I’m very

Kees Koolen(49th) is a rookie in the Dakar. He carries number 125, and
that was also his starting position. ,, Often I had to wait long
before I was able to overtake, with all the dust. The condition of the
tracks was good. These local roads are very well maintained by the
locals, it’s all they can use. I noticed a lot of bikes were having
technical problems in the liaison to the start, which surprised me. I
had a good day, despite my hand which is still a bit painful.”

Jurgen van den Goorbergh (58th) took no risks today. ,,I was a bit of
a boring day. Many were having problems, so I decided not to ask too
much of my engine. Navigation was so easy I could have done it without
roadbook. I arrived in time in the bivouac, so I’m satisfied.”

Vadim Pritulyak (111th) almost had a collision with Mitsubishi’s top
favorite Peterhansel. Peterhansel came up behind and signaled he
wanted to pass. I went to the right, but so did he. He could just
avoid me. I’m sure he wasn’t happy with me today”.

Christopher Jarmuz (35th) was the fastest rider off the team. For a
moment he was in 25th position, but he decided to back off a little to
spare his engine.

Ebert Dollevoet crashed hard in the second part of the stage and
dislocated his left shoulder. Four hours later he was brought into the
organisation’s fieldhospital, where they put his shoulder back in
place. He will remain another night in a hospital for observation, and
will fly home tomorrow. Too soon his Dakar is already over…

Sunday January 4th : Santa Rosa – Puerto Madryn Total 837 km. I 237
km. special I 600 km. liaison

Team Honda Europe –

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