The Dakar says goodbye to Chile and HIMOINSA Team survives another stage. They now face the second marathon day
After two days of extreme weather and a 450 km-long special section, the longest one left, the motards are in good position. Antonio Gimeno is 61st with Rosa Romero just behind him. Yet another success for the team’s strategy on their KTM 450 EXCs which are proving to be ideal for HIMOINSA Team’s goals. Miguel Puertas is due to be examined in Barcelona on 14 January to ascertain the extent of his injury.
You never know what is going to happen in The Dakar before it begins and much less how the race is going to pan out. What is important is that the riders are in great physical shape and are able to handle their bikes. This has proven to be vital this year as the race gets tougher. Despite the dangers, the rough terrain and other problems typical of The Dakar, Antonio Gimeno and Rosa Romero found today’s special easier thanks to the better weather.
“We finished a long timed 450 km stage. Yesterday we saw in the roadbook that today was going to be ugly and decided to take it easy as our times were good going into the special section. And we didn’t want any technical problems with the bikes. They were sections of fesh fesh, rough paths, loads of stones and hidden stones, but we achieved our goal. Tomorrow we head for Salta to start the marathon stage and we won’t have any backup again. We’ve got to get the bikes ready now along with the whole team so that we can really go for it tomorrow,” said Antonio Gimeno after the stage, stressing that tomorrow they will be without backup as it is a marathon stage. This is unlikely to be a problem for our riders as they have already survived the first marathon stage plus over two days without their support truck when it broke down.
Even though Rosa Romero had a tough stage, she beat her previous best and is very much focusing on one day at a time, well aware that it would be a mistake to dream of the podium in Buenos Aires too soon. She knows that The Dakar can throw up last-minute surprises. Rosa was also able to chat with her husband, Nani Roma, who won today’s stage despite breaking down on the first day. “Today’s stage was long and I found it difficult. Fesh fesh makes for hard going and we had nearly 400km of it. At the starting line I was told to focus, which I did. Tomorrow we’re back on mountain tracks which requires greater technique, and that suits me better. We’re now setting off towards Argentina, not long to go now”.
We also want to keep you up to date on another HIMOINSA Team rider and will continue to do so until he goes into the operating theatre and is on his way to recovery. Miguel Puertas is due to arrive in Barcelona on 14 January where he will see Dr. Xavier Mir at the Instituto Traumatológico de Barcelona to discuss a date for his operation and subsequent recovery. That evening, Puertas will appear on a special programme broadcast by Teleporte to celebrate the 37th Dakar Rally. The programme will be on live at 22:30, and fans will be able to find out how his fracture is as well as listen to the experts’ views.
Honda rider, Helder Rodríguez, won today’s stage. Stefan Svitko dropped 21’40´´, Toby Price 23’09´´ and Pablo Quintanilla 23’15´´. Coma remains in the lead, closely followed by Portugal’s Gonçalves, just 5’28” behind him. Our riders are 62nd and 63rd.
Motards spanish audio:
Stage 10. Calama / Cachi (Link: 520 km • Special: 371 km)
The bikes and quads set off on their second marathon stage! After following the border between Chile and Argentina, today’s special starts in Salinas Grande, at over 3,600 meters. The altitude is likely to affect the riders and their engines. The strongest could break the deadlock at the end of this more technical stage. The link section will then take them to Paso del Acay, at 4, 970 meters.