Last tango to the final podium in Buenos Aires
The HIMOINSA Team is just one special stage away from reaching the final podium in Technopolis, Buenos Aires, ending the gruelling loop of this year’s 2015 Dakar with wins by Rosa Romero and Antonio Gimeno. Their five senses are on the alert for this last stage, to seal what would be a success in the project’s first year.
The end of the penultimate stage of the Dakar between MOTO GP circuit of Termas de Río Hondo and the city of Rosario. The riders once again met up with the support team after the second of the marathon stages and were able to rest some more, on a mattress and in better weather conditions. The highlight of the stage was the decision by the organization to let the riders load their bikes onto the assistance vehicles for the last 600km of liaison of the day. A gesture which although late, was well received after some days of extreme hardship.
“We have now finished stage twelve. It was a very fast stage, the truth is that I had no grip and it was very slippery, I had to be careful. We rode at a calm and safe pace, which worked out very well for us. During the refuelling we caught up with the riders, who were ahead of us, but then a quad got in the way and because of the dust it was impossible to overtake. We were riding along quite slowly for about forty kilometres, but in the end the quad got a puncture and we were able to get past. We have now loaded the bikes onto the truck and we are heading along the liaison to get to Rosario.” Rosa Romero told us with her thoughts already on tomorrow’s stage, where the Catalan rider can fulfil the dream of a lifetime of completing her first Dakar. A goal which she set herself many years ago when the race was held in Africa and which is now within her reach after all her work and all the effort of the HIMOINSA Team. Her partner on this adventure, Antonio Gimeno, also finds himself just 383km away from reaching his personal goal, with two finishers in the two editions in which he has taken part. A perfectly coordinated team effort, with Gimeno putting his experience at the service of the HIMOINSA Team and becoming an instrumental part of the project.
With just one stage to go, we also wanted to talk to the Sports Director and rider Miguel Puertas, so he could share his feelings with us about this next stage, as well as the latest about his operation. “I am very happy. Nearly so much so that it makes up for my bad luck in this situation. The project which was initially started by HIMOINSA is reaching expectations. I know that for my part I have done well, I was very unlucky not to be able to finish, but these are factors that are out of my control. Rosa has been waiting for this moment for such a long time, when she reaches the end tomorrow she is going to feel a tremendous relief. It is a very personal effort, something you experience deep inside yourself and when you achieve your goal it is amazing. No matter how much external support you have, in the end it is you who has to overcome the challenge every day; it makes great demands of you. A trial like this, with such a difficult Dakar Rally, to finish it would be a success. We have given 100%.Since you asked me about my operation; I can tell you it will be next week. It’s as if my elbow exploded, they cannot rebuild it and I will have to have a prosthesis, the internal ligament is also broken. It will be about 5 to 6 months approximately, before I can get back on the bike. On Monday I have to go back to Barcelona to see Dr. Mir again because there is also a possibility of having the operation done in Seville, but I want his approval.
Going back to the race and reviewing what remains to be decided, it will be very difficult for those who are now heading their respective categories to lose their privileged position. Marc Coma in motorcycles, Sonik in quads and Al-Attyah in cars have it almost wrapped up. The main duel will be between the Kamaz trucks where Mardeev has a twelve-minute lead over Nikolaev.
Stage 13. Rosario / Buenos Aires (Liaison: 219 km, Special stage: 174 km)
None of the Dakar competitors consider the race won before finishing the last day. And rightly so, each year, at least one vehicle has to retire in the final stage. On the fast tracks of the Special stage caution is required, at least for those who don’t have to defend a position. Especially with the podium awaiting the giants of the 2015 edition in Technopolis, Buenos Aires, it will be the great moment of emotion everyone came for.