Dakar  16  Farres

Gerard Farrés: “To finish 8th in this Dakar is amazing”

  • The HIMOINSA Racing Team rider earns the 8th position in the 2016 Dakar, making him the first Spanish rider in the race
  • A faultless finish for the team, with all its five riders past the finish line.

Gerard Farres culminated a very successful season in Rosario with his 8th place in the Dakar Rally, and the first Spaniard, and ending an unbelievable year with the HIMOINSA Team. These are his impressions about the race:

Question: Gerard, how are you? How do you feel the day after finishing Dakar?

Answer: I am doing great, very tired but very happy with the outcome we have achieved. Being eighth in a the Dakar like this is amazing. Yesterday was a very intense and exciting day: last stage, podium ceremony and then the celebration with the team. I was eager to go to bed!

What has been your best moment of the race?

The best moment was undoubtedly the podium yesterday in Rosario. Going up the ramp together with the five riders of the team is amazing. Getting everybody to the finish line is very difficult, barely any teams are able to arrive with all their riders to the finish. To feel what it’s like to finish after having suffered so much is the best.

What about the worst feeling?

The stage of San Juan was brutal and I managed to finish it. It was 50º C, with fesh-fesh. I struggled physically from the beginning and had to endure it until the end. I was destroyed at the finish, I had a really tough time with the heat. I even went to the doctor and he said I had 39 ° C fever, but I was so tired I couldn’t even notice, you just know you are exhausted.

Your 8th place is remarkable, what will you need to be even better?

For 4 or 5 years I have been racing Dakar with different teams but without regularity. We did this race but then disconnected for the rest of the year us and did not do any more tests. That’s a problem, in the past I had the desire and illusion, but I have never had the pace. Despite everything we have achieved, what I need now is to be active throughout the year. I think that way we will gain speed. Now I have nine years of experience, but I was not able to go fast, it is not the same to navigate slowly than at full speed. For many years I have been a backup, some years I burnt down my bike (laughs) and for other years I was super slow. The only two years that I have been able to race were with Bordone Ferrari and this year, with HIMOINSA Team, and now we have to get faster by navigating well. My rivals have been with their bikes for a long time and they are very fast. Now the most important thing is that we have a fully active year, with the same people, good material and infallible KTM.

What do you think of the negative part of the race, dropouts like Joan Barreda and many others?

This race is very unfair sometimes, breakdowns can not be controlled and can happen at any time. It’s not up to you and you can not train this, bad luck is there. We have been lucky and have not had any mechanical problems. We also have a very good technical team, they have done an unbelievable job. Then there are the crashes, which are very dangerous because the speeds are huge nowadays.

This year you assisted Faria when he crashed, how do you recover from finding a fallen comrade on the track?

You go down the track and you find a mate lying, screaming in pain. It is a horrible experience, but we have this rule of Fair Play and we always stop. You disconnect from the race and get into another mode which is to help a friend. You stay with him until the organization gets there, and then I take a couple of minutes to focus again before leaving. When you leave you no longer remember what just happened, even though some kilometers later you remember it, you can not avoid it. We try not to think about it, but the risk is there. Besides, the speed is brutal, which makes things worse.

How do you approach next year?

Well, it’s still early, but the first thing is to analyze how we have done and find out what we need to improve. On a personal level I know where I have to work as I have said before, and team-wise we do know that we will do more races and preparatory work for the 2017 Dakar, starting now. Now I have a few days off with my family and then get the new season started.

How did you see yourself as a team leader?

Well, actually I’m not, each of the five drivers of HIMOINSA Team has its place. Yes, it is true that I am the most experienced in Dakar, and try to help others when they have doubts, but not a leader. In the end we all learn from each other, we go through countless moments on track.

How do you see the HIMOINSA Team from within?

The relationship is very good. In the race there is always tension, but we have never had any problems, on the contrary, we are very pleased and help each other a lot. One day you are happy and the next you are weaker, but we push each other. It was a nice experience to share this Dakar with them, we are a great group.

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Himoinsa meta Daka16

The glory

  • Dakar 2016 comes to an end in Rosario with Farrés among the best (eighth)
  • HIMOINSA Racing Team gets all of its 5 riders to the finish
  • Great final stage for Farres, sixth, and Cervantes, seventh




Stage 13 – 01/16/2016
Total: 699 km / SS: 180 km

They have spent months working towards it and two weeks dreaming of it, the seeked finish line of Rosario is now a reality. As a pilgrim who reaches his destination, the participants of the world’s toughest raid climbed the Rosario podium as if they had reached eternal glory. They have earned it, they have suffered and overcome all kinds of hardships to achieve this main goal: to finish.

For the HIMOINSA Racing Team, the feat is multiple and fulfils all the expectations. As the director, Miguel Puertas, said before leaving Madrid, it would be a great success to get the five KTMs across the finish line in Rosario: they are there, the success is all theirs. Not only that, because although all the riders see that finish line as their only goal, they also strive to ride to their full potential, and to excel as much as possible in the standings. It turns out that the four men and woman of the “Red Army”, have performed well above their previously set expectations for this Dakar.

Gerard Farres is already proven himself in Dakar, and in his ninth participation has managed to be the best Spanish rider, finishing ten stages out of thirteen in the top ten and finishing the rally in eighth. In addition, the Spaniard is a great example of positive mentality and sportsmanship in the race, a perfect representative of the so called Dakar spirit. And as the experienced rider he is,  he took advantage of the final stage, in which he finished sixth: “Today was a day of being careful not to do something stupid, but also of gaining some time because many riders are conservative and nervous. It was far from an easy stage, especially as the fastest riders started last, forcing us to deal with a lot of traffic on the track and it becomes a very different kind of racing. Now we get to enjoy and share this success with the close ones and with the fans.”

Ivan Cervantes came to Argentina with too much weight on his shoulders, the weight of his enduro World titles, which brought added pressure. He wisely knew how to shake off the pressure, listen to Miguel and to his team mates and learn to adapt to the race without throwing it all away like so many newcomers have done in the history of this rally or even this year in the case of his enduro colleagues Renet and Meo: “We’re already here, I can’t believe it, Dakar is much bigger than I had been told. But here we are,  finishing what we started, learning a lot, making some mistakes, suffering with navigation and enjoying these last  stages in which I was able to be at the front.” Ivan was seventh in the final stage and completes his first Dakar in 16th.

Antonio Gimeno came to Dakar to enjoy, because although he had to cover the backs of his two companions, he had much more freedom than in his previous two outings. That helped the Madrid native to show his potential as a fast but infallible and consistent rider, who day after day has done his job with very few incidents to regret: “The truth is I’m happy coming to the finish and getting between the 25 best riders in Dakar. This was the goal, and we have fulfilled it, with some scares and struggling with the heat and rain, but it was all worth it.”

Rosa Romero is a role model to the world of women’s sports. She is not professional, but she did not like having to stay in her country while her husband took part in this legendary race. A few days ago in the dunes of Fiambala a reporter asked Farrés what surprised him the most in this rally, and the Catalan answered : “what Rosa is doing is incredible, when I was passing the dunes I thought it was impossible for her to overcome, but look at her, she deserves a lot of respect”. This year Rosa has reached Rosario and has done it in a very creditable position: “I am super happy because for us to get to the finish was unbelievably hard, there are so many hours of bike, heat, inconveniences, but we endured it. I am really grateful for the whole HIMOINSA team, but especially for my colleague Dani, who has played a huge part in this accomplishment. In Buenos Aires almost one hundred and forty bikes set off, and now in Rosario, more than half of them are behind us or have abandoned… amazing! ”

The hug Rosa gave Dani Oliveras at the finish line was the summary of her complicity with a companion who has protected her for two weeks and has made use of his technique to reach the finish line of every stage together as a solid tandem: “For a rider like me, my mission in the team was clear and personally I wanted to learn and soak up the Dakar and I achieved that. We are at the finish, which in this race is already a victory.”

It was a journalist who nicknamed the HIMOINSA Racing Team as “The Red Army of Dakar” and they have behaved as the most solid race team, which has brought all its components to the finish, has fought with factory backed teams and has taken its colors to the higest of honors . Congratulations!

Stage classification:
1-QUINTANILLA, 1:51:27
2-BENAVIDES +01: 41
3-RODRIGUES +02: 37
6- FARRÉS +10: 52
7- CERVANTES +11: 50
40-GIMENO +28: 54
67-ROMERO +45: 33
76-OLIVERAS +55: 34

Final classification:
1-PRICE, 48:09:15
2-SVITKO +39: 41
8-FARRÉS +02: 01: 00
16-CERVANTES +04: 45: 23
24-GIMENO +06: 52: 27
67-ROMERO +21: 42: 37
70-OLIVERAS +22: 40:15

CervantesDakar16 DAKAR 16 ROMERO DAKAR16-A.GIMENO FarresDakar16 Himoinsa meta Daka16 Himoinsa meta Dakar 16 OliverasDakar16

Rosa Dakar16

Almost there

  • The penultimate stage of the Dakar 2016 brings more surprises to the race
  • Farres, seventh, despite a crash, gains a position in the overall
  • Cervantes enjoys his riding and rides great race among the best
  • Gimeno gets his best finish, 21st after a great stage.




Stage 12 – 01/15/2016
Total: 931 km / SS: 481 km

On the longest stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally, the riders had to add another thousand kilometers to their exhausted bodies, but they did it with the promising thought that this “torture” is nearing the end, and beginning to enjoy the feeling of being very close to the finish line. Of course, with a timed stage of 481 kilometers, none could afford excesses that could ruin two weeks of hard work and a year of preparation. Consequently, it was a tense stage, with some on the offensive, many on the defensive and everybody avoiding any dramatic last moment discards, which are the most painful.
Throughout the day, we saw a few fallen riders, such as Meo, untimely engine stops and even Duclos’s stolen helmet, which deprived them of any options. The HIMOINSA Racing Team riders were able to stay on two wheels, in a new showing of maturity that has led them to the gates of Rosario with all the homework done. Each with their expectations, the five riders of the “Red Army” shined once more and not only consolidating their position but also managing to climb some positions in the overall, thanks to their performances in this penultimate stage.

The most prominent among Spaniards was again Gerard Farres, very focused on the stage, in which where he started seventh, held a good pace despite the fatigue caused by the accumulating kilometers. He finished in his best form, taking seventh in the stage, which allows him to scale to eighth place overall: “It was a fast stage without navigation but bery enjoyable, and I was riding very fast, but halfway through the special I crashed and broke the road book, so I rode without it until the refueling, where I switched it to manual mode. Anyway my goal today was to overtake Bravec and I did so I am happy. Towards the end I rode for a while with Meo, who has broken his wrist and was dizzy… we are almost there.”

Ivan Cervantes, who has faced his first Dakar in a cautious way, has slowly gained experience and is enjoying the latter stages on the bike and it shows on his time. In this long special, the Tarragona local slipped into thirteenth position after maintaining a fast but steady pace: “I’m happy because I had the pace, it was a very technical, twisty stage, with rocks… it was really tough on the tires. The only thing that makes me angry is that I lost some important time due to a rookie mistake; in a speed control and we were diverted and my GPS kept telling me to limit my speed to 50 km/h. I was stuck going 50 km/h while the others were flat out, until luckily Viladoms told me. After trying to recover what was lost, I went off track in a curve, but without consequences… it’s almost done.”

In the same ascending trend and landing one of his best stages, Antonio Gimeno also climbed positions in the stage and consolidated himself among the fastest 25 men of Dakar: “Today I have reasons to be happy, I rode fast and without making big mistakes or taking excessive risks. It feels good to be in front of some factory riders in the rankings. There is very little left to achieve the dreamed goal. “

Dani Oliveras and Rosa Romero with their outstanding consistency and without giving in to exhaustion also completed the stage without serious issues and even closer to their dream of finishing Dakar 2016. Rosario is right there, right around the corner.

Stage classification:
1-RODRIGUES, 5:57:24
2-PRICE: +07:32
3-BENAVIDES +07: 55
7-FARRÉS +20 04
13-CERVANTES +23: 52
21-GIMENO +36: 38
63-ROMERO +01:36:54

64-OLIVERAS +01:38:00

Overall classification:
1-PRICE, 46:13:26
2-SVITKO +37: 39
8-FARRÉS +01: 54: 30
17-CERVANTES +04: 37: 55
25-GIMENO +06: 27: 55
66-ROMERO +21:01:26
67-OLIVERAS +21:49:03

Tomorrow’s stage
Stage 13 – 01/16/2016
Total: 699 km / SS: 180 km

The taste of victory
Although there is still a long day of bike ahead to reach the finish line in Rosario, the 180 kilometers of stage will be a piece of cake in which most drivers will be conservative to avoid losing hard earned time. Only those with options to gain positions in the overall will take risks on the sandy tracks or fast rocky sections. The liaison will be a festive caravan to glory.

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Oliveras-Romero Dakar2016

The Red Army impresses

  • Another solid stage by Gerard Farres, in the “top ten” for the eighth time
  • The HIMOINSA Racing Team continues to be above their expectations
  • Cervantes has fun and puts down another great performance among the best





STAGE 11 – 01/14/2016
La Rioja (ARG) – SAN JUAN (ARG)
Total: 712 km / SS: 431 km

It is clear in the paddock who the “Red Army” is. The Spanish team, created by experienced Dakar rider, Miguel Puertas, with the support of the Murcian multinational HIMOINSA, with Spanish mechanics and five brave local riders, has become a true benchmark of the race. Its goal was to get all riders to the finish line in Rosario, and so far they are on the right track, even though 40% of participants already packed their bags. In addition, the team is exceeding all its expectations because It has become, its own right, the most powerful private fleet in Dakar and clearly facing the big official teams.

Only Gerard Farres is a professional raid rider and debutant Ivan Cervantes is an official KTM rider in enduro, but the others share their passion and skill on the bike with other things. Therefore, the merit of Antonio Gimeno is not smaller than that of Farrés, who figths with the best. After an outstanding Dakar, Gimenowill quickly return to his job running his motorcycle shop. It is in the spirit of Dakar where the “Red Army” has managed to dazzle this year.

And in the final stages of the world’s toughest rally, having overcome the dreaded dunes of Fiambala, survivors faced this eleventh stage, which also left war wounds. The misfortune of injured Goncalves and the 431 kilometers of obstacles left important changes to the classification. The heat striked again, forcing a new suspension in the last kilometers, which means the rankings are provisional. And as always, Gerard Farrés returned to be hard as a rock and for the eighth time he got into the “top ten” of the stage and climbed another place overall. As every day, Farrés displayed great form and intelligence, starting off slow, but slowly recovering time as the kilometers passed: “I’m exhausted, the heat was brutal and it was a long stage, dusty, with rivers and fesh fesh sand all over, you could not sit in the whole stage. I picked up a good pace and I am still in the front, but I felt worse than usual because I was struggling with energy from the beginning. It felt bad getting to the finish and then knowing the stage was shortened and there is no reward for those who crossed the finish line… we will see what happens with the rankings. ”

After overcoming the rally’s toughest navigation stages, Ivan Cervantes was back to his normal self and rode a great stage, riding in times very close to the front and finishing in a creditable 14th place in his passage through the WP9, the last valid checkpoint for all riders who had the last 30 km cut off: “I do not know if it’s because it is almost over, but I have started to enjoy this, today I had a great time starting towards the back, I overtook many riders and I rode fast, although I was uncomfortable in the dust and heat. I gave it my all, but I had a navigation problem on the river, I skipped a reference point and I had to go back, buty the worst part was having to pass several quads that overtook me and left a huge dust cloud; I was able to go through, but taking some risks.”

And as always, Antonio Gimeno continued hammering it to get back into the top thirty (28th) and stay in 23rd place overall: “I can’t believe how well things are going and I’m really proud that I’m holding on, but in days like today we had to give it all, it was so hot !!! ”

No less remarkable is the performance of Rosa Romero and his bodyguard Dani Oliveras, who after the immense suffering of the previous days and many hours of lost sleep, felt very comfortable at this stage and continued their climb in the middle of the table, and with 7,716 kilometers behind their backs

Stage classification:
1-MEO, 5:19:08
2-PRICE +00:18
10-FARRÉS +27:07

Overall classification:
1-PRICE, 40:08:30
2-SVITKO +35:23
3-MEO +43:46
9-FARRÉS +01:41:58


Tomorrow’s stage
Stage 12 – 01/15/2016
Total: 931 km / SS: 481 km

Kilometer overdose
The penultimate day of the 2016 Dakar will not be a walk in the park. As if the  kilometers pilots carry in their bodies and in their motor bikes weren’t enough, the 12th stage will make them complete another thousand, half of them timed. We return to the terrain of the initial part of the rally, but with some narrow roads some advantages could be gained. Of course, at this stage of the rally, little to gain, much to lose.
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Dakar’s warriors

  • They are the unseen faces of Dakar and they are essential for riders to be at the starting line every day. Today we introduce you to HIMOINSA Racing Team’s Assistance team, the authentic Dakar warriors.

Their work isn’t seen on television, neither do they become famous for their achievements in Dakar, but… Who is responsible for keeping the bikes working day by day for 2 weeks of extreme racing? The Assistance team works all day long to make sure everything is ready.

The behind the scenes work of the assistance is one of the fundamental pillars of Dakar. The Himoinsa Team relies on a luxurious assistance team; top shelf mechanics with the best preparation to assist riders on their arrival at the camp, under any circumstances. Here they are:

Oscar Vidal: Reus (Tarragona), 46 years old , 7 Dakars. Mechanic and owner of Flipa Moto.

David Palmada “Pelut”: Manresa (Barcelona), 42 years old , 15 Dakars. Mechanic and representative of Tech Rock.

Ramon Pujol “Jep”: Prats de Lluçanès (Barcelona), 48 years old, 2 Dakars. Mechanic and fireman.

Paco Ivars: Calpe (Alicante), 38 years old, 12 Dakars. Mechanic and owner of Ivars Moto.

Manolo Diaz: Santiago de la Ribera (Murcia), 56 years old, 10 Dakars. Driver and Warrant Officer of the Air Force.

But… what is the daily routine of assistance in the Dakar?

Their job in the Dakar never stops. Operating 24 hours a day, enduring two weeks of the race like titans. This is the daily routine in the HIMOINSA Racing Team:

4:00 a.m.: The alarm clock goes off. Pellut, Oscar, Paco, Manolo and Jep leave their tents. Some choose the roof of assistance truck as an improvised bedroom, looking for some privacy and avoiding the noise of generators and motors.

4:30 a.m.: The bikes are started up to check that everything is OK and give the finishing touches. They begin to dismantle the assistance tents, electricity, tables, tools…

5:00 a.m.: Depending on the stage, this is the approximate departure time of the first rider. The 5 HIMOINSA riders have departure times fixed the previous day. As they leave, the rest of the assistance is disassembled.

6:00 a.m.: With everything picked up, the team leaves the Bivouac to complete the link to the next camp. The path varies depending on the stage, but ranges between 6 and 21 hours of driving in this edition. The trucks are limited to 90 km/h, and cars and motorhomes to 110km/h. During refueling they have breakfast, and the vehicles topped off with water and gas. Normally drivers take shifts to make the road easier. While on the road, the stage is followed online, watching over the riders passing through the multiple checkpoints in the daily stage.

2:00 p.m.: The HIMOINSA Team’s Bürstner truck and RVs reach the new Bivouac. A steward tells them where to set up camp. Teams look to be close to “The Central”, where the briefing takes place, and the Michelin tent to change tires. (10 each day).

3:30 p.m.: The assistance assembly is completed: open truck, 6 tents, 6 tarps, tools ready and spare parts off the truck… Good to go! If there is any spare time before the arrival of the pilots, mechanics take their lunch break in the Bivouac dining hall.

4:00 p.m.: The first bikearrives, off to work! First: washing the bike. Then the work starts: oil, air filter, tires, pads, chain… everything is thoroughly checked for the rider to leave the next day with the highest expectatives. Some parts are sealed so that replacement is not possible without penalty, such as the engine.

Gradually all the other components of HIMOINSA Team arrive and the assistance team gets to work.

If a bike is damaged repair times lengthen. All sorts of parts are available in the team truck, and if any other parts are needed, KTM supplies parts in each Bivouac.

9:00 p.m.: If all went well, the first bike is ready, and the mechanic checks around to make sure everything is in place.

9:30 p.m.: Dinner time. The only relaxing time of the day.

10:00 p.m.: Disassembly of anything that is not essential for the morning is begun, and placed in the truck.

11:00 p.m.: Barring any delays or inconveniences, it is time to go to sleep. One more stage… and one less stage to go.


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  • Exhaustion was widespread after the second marathon stage, on sand
  • The navigation and dunes wreak havoc in the caravan
  • Farrés suffers in the first half, but comes back in the end

STAGE 10 – 13/01/2016
Total: 561 km / SS: 278 km

Uncertainty is also a common Dakar theme, at least in this edition. To the rider’s suffering, facing the toughest race in the world, must be added the permanent threat of climate and the uncertainty regarding routes and classifications. The organization of the rally has been forced to vary in some way almost every stage of the Dakar and that has created some discomfort among participants, who, in some cases profited from decisions, and in others were in disadvantage.

After the criticized cancellation of the last section of the ninth stage, the organizer decided to change the classification criteria overnight, counting that sector for those who had reached it and penalizing the neutralized riders. This decision put Portuguese Goncalves back in the race, after he had been virtually eliminated. Consequently, Farres, the best Spanish, started the stage from 8th place overall, although closer to his immediate competitors.

And if that were not enough, the storms came back and forced a delay in the departure by more than an hour, as well as cancelling the last 37 km of stage, due to a river overflow. In addition, this stage added a new strategic component in that the first motorcycles were mixed with the first cars, an experiment whose outcome no one could predict. Riders were exhausted after the stage and their bikes were battered from not receiving overnight assistance… C’est le Dakar.

In this unfolding of events, the HIMOINSA Racing Team riders had different luck. Gerard Farres  is not a good starter, being the first kilometers his worst at all stages. However, at this stage, things got extremely complicated because the Spaniard, who started between several cars, had serious navigation issues and surrendered 19 minutes right at the start. From there on, Farreti rode consistently at the front group’s pace and was recovering positions, but in his best moment, the race had to be shortened again, a detrimental decision for the tireless “diesel”. Farrés is still in the “top ten” as the best Spanish, but lost two positions in favor of American Brabec and a resurgent Goncalves.

Nevertheless, the HIMOINSA rider was pleased at the finish after all the complications: “It was a very difficult stage. For starters, the collective start alongside cars and trucks did not play in our favor due to the huge amount of dust. Just after the start, I saw Nasser’s rolled over MINI and at kilometer 20 I crossed Hirvonen driving in my opposite direction, and we both took a good scare. so the navigation was really difficult for everyone at the start. After that I found Meo and we could ride together, but then I discovered that I had left behind two checkpoints and knew that without them I could be penalized with two hours, so I had to turn around and find the right path. That’s where I lost the nearly 20 minutes that I started trying to gain back along the rest of the way without making more mistakes with the challenging navigation. However, I am very happy with the result considering that today we could have lost much more time in the overall”.

Ivan Cervantes also experienced one of the most difficult stages for a newcomer to the Dakar, where navigation becomes so important. In any case, he managed to cross the finish among the top 30 riders of the day. On his part, Antonio Gimeno continues to claim his role as one of the revelations of the 2016 Dakar and his consistency and great skill through the Fiambala dunes, moved him forward in the overall, giving him a shot at the “top 25 “. Gimeno was the third Spanish rider yesterday, a real merit for a non-professional driver, who works daily at a motorcycle shop and has so far been the perfect bodyguard for Farrés and Cervantes.

Dani Oliveras Rosa Romero faced the stage cautiously in order to overcome a and long and challenging journey full of obstacles and which would have its end  after completing the long liaison to La Rioja.

Stage classification:
1-SVITKO, 3:47:23
2-BENAVIDES +02: 54
3-PRICE +05: 47
10-FARRÉS +26: 46
29-CERVANTES +01: 14: 23
32-GIMENO +01:19:37
63-ROMERO +04:45:31
64-OLIVERAS +04:46:27

Overall Rating:
1-PRICE, 34:49:04
2-SVITKO +23:12
3-GONCALVES +34:15
9-FARRÉS +01:15:09
19-CERVANTES +03:58:57
24-GIMENO +05:00:05
68-ROMERO +16:44:02
69-OLIVERAS +17:31:01

Tomorrow’s stage
STAGE 11 – 01/14/2016
La Rioja (ARG) – SAN JUAN (ARG)
Total: 712 km / SS: 431 km

Beware the fesh-fesh
After the hell of Fiambala, the race will gradually leave behind the sand to get into faster but difficult areas. This time the rocks or the always treacherous fesh fesh can cause problems to those still fighting for time.

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The Dakar is finally here

Farres, the best Spanish, takes advantage of the conditions and scales another position (seventh)

The devastating heat and the difficulty of the dunes force the shortening of the stage

Antonio Gimeno lands a good stage and climbs three places overall.


STAGE 9 – 12/01/2016
Total: 436 km / SS: 285 km

The spirit of Dakar, for anyone who has followed the rally for the last decades, is this: huge sand dunes, sweltering heat and few references by to orientate in navigation. That is what the participants of the 2016 Dakar faced in their arrival to the dreaded Fiambala dunes. All this and more, because the race had to be neutralized when the organization judged that the situation was becoming critical to the safety of the riders who piled up between the dunes, battling temperatures of over 48 degrees. The chaos was at times worrying and several pilots had to be rescued by helicopter.

It is also true that these occasions are the ones that draw the line between experts in Dakar and those who only aspire to rack up kilometers. Proof of this are the new discards, with the breakdown of Goncalves, and the loss of minutes of Pedrero, Duclos, Viladoms and Cervantes himself. But these difficulties also make the cream rise to the top, and the more experienced riders profit from the turbulences of this kind of stage. The first of them was Australian Price, who has consolidated himself as race leader, and among them, the great Gerard Farres with another great performance, finishing eighth and gaining a new position in the overall standings (now seventh).

Gerard was exhausted, but happy: “This was the most difficult stage of the Dakar and one of the toughest I’ve ever experienced. The sand was very soft and very hot, but I was able to complete the whole stage with a good pace, although the final kilometers were torture. We will see what happens with the rankings because riders and bikes have suffered a lot to get here and we are in a marathon stage.”

Another Spaniard capable of making his strength count was Antonio Gimeno, the solid rider of the HIMOINSA Racing Team, who made a surge in the stage and got his best finish, ending up in 25th place. Gimeno found his place in the race and has not faltered a single day, but today he had a hard time: “It went very well at first, but I made a navigation mistake and lost four minutes. From then on I pushed too hard and I wore out quickly; I was completely melted down when I arrived at CP2, so I am happy with the cancellation and my result. ”

Ivan Cervantes again suffered from his biggest fear, navigation, but he played his cards very well, “I took a good start of the stage and by mid-stage was already in 14th place, but twenty kilometers from the end I ran out of gasoline and thanks to Viladoms stopping and giving me some of his, I could carry on. We lost many minutes in doing this, also because Jordi’s bike did not start well and it took a while for both of us to set off, but when we arrived at CP 2 the stage had already been cut.”

The tandem composed of Rosa Romero and Dani Oliveras also suffered the inclemency of terrain and heat and even had a good start to the stage, afterwards, they were trapped in the sea of ​​dunes with another fifty riders, but finally after a lot of suffering and delay, they arrived at checkpoint 2 in their usual positions. They are especially tired because of their late arrival in the previous stage which only allowed them to sleep for a few hours.

Although the first riders have managed to reach the finish line, the unofficial classification at this time is the one at checkpoint No. 2, where the race was neutralized.

Stage classification:

1-PRICE, 2:24:19
2-BENAVIDES +10:07
3-SVITKO + 10: 33
6-FARRÉS +14: 38
25-GIMENO +42: 23
29-CERVANTES +45: 38
77-OLIVERAS +04: 07: 13
78-ROMERO +04: 07: 47

Overall classification:
1-PRICE, 29:53:15
2-SVITKO +24: 47
8-FARRÉS +52 10
19-CERVANTES +02: 07: 53
25-GIMENO +3: 05: 35
74-ROMERO +12: 10: 25
76-OLIVERAS +12: 57: 22

Tomorrow’s stage
STAGE 10 – 13/01/2016


Total: 561 km / SS: 278 km

The dreaded Fiambala
With the added difficulty of being the second phase of the marathon stage, in which pilots have had to repair their bikes themselves, comes one of the most dreaded stages in Dakar. The Fiambala dunes could be decisive in the world’s toughest rally. A real Dakarian stage.


DAKAR16-FarrésG Dakar16-OLIVERAS


Farrés keeps it up

  • The arrival of the dunes causes discards and increases differences
  • The Spaniard rose to the occasion beat the sand, heat and navigation


ETAPA 8 – 11/01/2016
Total: 766 km / SS: 393 km

The Dakar is a race of endurance and survival in which positions are won actively, with persistance and good riding, and passively, by letting other riders be eliminated due to mistakes or mechanical problems. This analysis is common to all great Dakar riders, and even more so when you enter the terrain which is the essence of this raid, the sand. The second week of the race started with the first dunes and that meant that differences would now be counted in minutes, instead of seconds.

The new discards arrived with problems for Metge, and riders were exposed to situations when navigation is more important than skilful riding. For the first time in this rally, many riders felt lost in the desert. This was not the case for Gerard Farres, who used his expertise in this type of challenge, rising up to the adversity and getting back into the top ten of the stage, which led to an 8th place in the overall, keeping him the first Spanish rider. Farrés is good at navigation and he is tough as rock, which explains hid usual upward trend, rising from 13th place halfway through the stage, to the seventh at the line. The Manresa native is the first Spaniard in both the stage and the overall: “Today’s stage was more like the traditional Dakar, with sand and complicated navigation and also extremely hot. I’m happy because I rode a strong and consistent stage. Today the bike was very good because the HIMOINSA Racing Team mechanics left it good as new during the off-day and I rode fast and without navigation mistakes. I rode alongside Svitko for many kilometers and we did good work together. ”

This type of stage should be feared by Ivan Cervantes, who hardly has any experience in navigation and dunes, but he still defended hiself with dignity: “It was complicated, but here we are happy to have passed the test. I had a silly fall in the first part of the special and this cost me significant time, but then I started picking up the pace and although we only had the experience of the Rally of Morocco in this kind of terrain, I faired well with the navigation, but not without thinking I was lost several times.”

Antonio Gimeno, as usual, ran like clockwork, without making mistakes and in his regular place in the standings, always around 30th, which helped him climb  to 28th overall. Rosa Romero and Dani Oliveras, who placed as usual, continue the race with consistency and no issues.

Stage classification:
1-PRICE, 04:33:14
2-GONCALVES +05:17
7-FARRÉS +10:47
19-CERVANTES +28:28
29-GIMENO +39:20

Overall classification:
1-PRICE, 27:28:56
2-GONCALVES +02:05
3-SVITKO +14:14
8-FARRÉS +37:32
16-CERVANTES +01:22:15
28-GIMENO +2:23:12

Tomorrow’s stage
ETAPA 9 – 12/01/2016
Total: 436 km / SS: 285 km

Navigation time
They say the true spirit of the Dakar are the stages full of off-road navigation with large doses of sand. Well, that’s what the riders will face in this stage, if they have weathered the storm and gotten this far. After today’s hardships, tomorrow we will see a not excessively long stage, but a very hard one indeed, with the added difficulty of being a new marathon stage, in which the mechanics will not work on the bikes at night.

Dakar 2016 Cervantes Dakar16-Himoinsa Team Dakar2016-Farrés


Gathering energy

  • Today the Dakar stops to recharge their batteries for the second week of racin
  • The HIMOINSA Team fulfils its expectations and keeps its 5 riders in the race
  • Gerard Farres, in 8th place, is the first Spanish rider in the race.



01/09/2016 – SALTA (ARG)

The resting stage is a symbol, a turning point in every one of the 38 editions of Dakar completed to date. Riders, assistants and organization were eager to fulfill their goal of reaching the halfway mark of the race. Each and every one of the Team Managers set their aims on reaching this magical date: it means things are going well.

This day has now arrived, and things could not be better for the HIMOINSA Racing Team. The aim of getting all five riders of the Red fleet gets closer every day. Halfway through the race Ivan, Gerard, Antonio, Rosa and Dani keep a steady mindset and still have the best shot at reaching the finish line in Rosario in a week. The bikes are intact. The riders too.

The icing on the cake for this first week: Ivan Cervantes and Gerard Farres finishing in 9th and 10th place yesterday. Two HIMOINSA Team riders in the top 10 of the stage.

The road here has not been easy. Rain, cold and unexpected obstacles on the track have punished the riders and team assistance. Many stories to tell from these days, such as the two injured riders Rosa and Dani found in the middle of the track in Stage 6, the donkeys Antonio dodged miraculously in stage 4 or the difficulties suffered due to the height of all three days in Bolivia. Ivan, a rookie in this race is adapting perfectly to this discipline, while Gerard maintains a stable pace which earns him positions every day.

The assistance consists of David Palmada “Pelut” Oscar Vidal, Paco Ivars,  Ramon Pujol and Manolo Diaz, who reach the resting day after thousands of kilometers of stage link they have traveled so far, and with the tranquility of not having major problems with bikes: the riders have treated them well and there have been no serious accidents to regret.

Our pilots have given their impressions halfway through the race:

Ivan Cervantes. “I’m so glad I got this far. These days have helped me learn what the Dakar really is and how to affront it. I’ve left behind that fear of the unknown to face up to the challenge of the race’s second week, and I will attack it with respect, but not fear. ”

Gerard Farres: “In my opinion things could not be better. All 5 bikes are here in Salta and that is very important for the team. As for me, I’m fine, I picked up my rhythm and I know how far I can go. The KTM is spot on so far, and it has not caused a single problem. The stages up to here without navigation are not a good reference, the current differences between the top 10 will not be as important in this second week of the race, and any error from now on will cost a handful of minutes.”

Antonio Gimeno: “Before I started I set off to complete my third Dakar in three participations, and we are already halfway through, which means so far so good.  I’m very satisfied with position 32 and not having any major drawbacks. Now the focus is on the upcoming days. I think the stages in Belen will be crucial, it looks like they will be challenging. The team atmosphere is perfect, and I am sure we will achieve incredible things.”

Rosa Romero. “I’m riding a calm Dakar, and the strategy is working so far. We have reached the middle of the race smoothly. Stages at altitude have been very hard, I was exhausted at our arrival to Salta, but happy with the result. Hopefully it does not rain again, it is what affects me the most. ”

Dani Oliveras:… “A bit of rest wil do no harm to anyone. For me, the hardest part of this past week were the links, I prefer 400km special to 400km of link because it forces you to focus and keeps you from getting bored. I’m looking forward to more navigation and some sandy terrain.”

Miguel Puertas, Team Manager, provides his own vision of the work done: “The team’s objectives are being met. We want the 5 riders at the finish line, and for now we can not ask for more. Riders and bikes are in perfect condition, and the team’s mentality is great. There is much anticipation surrounding what might happen from here on, but I think the team is ready. ”

Overall Classification:


1-GONCALVES, 22:52:30
2-PRICE +03:12
3-SVITKO +09:24
8-FARRÉS +29:57
18-CERVANTES +56:59
32-GIMENO +01:47:04
77-OLIVERAS +06:23:26
78-ROMERO +06:33:25

Tomorrow’s stage
Stage 8 – 10.01.2016
SALTA (ARG) – Belen (ARG)
TOTAL: 766 / SS: 393

Here come the dunes
After a deserved rest day, the riders enter the final week and they do so by facing the first dunes. Sand and navigation will begin to make a much bigger difference than they have so far.


A well deserved rest

  • Great stage for Cervantes, seventh, and Farrés, eighth
  • The second half of the timed section was canceled due to storms
  • All team members continue climbing positions.
    Sage 7- 09.01.2016
    Uyuni (BOL) – Salta (ARG)
    Total: 793 km / SS: 353 km
    Ivan Cervantes said at the end of Friday’s long stage that he was looking forward to the day off on Sunday. Perhaps this is why the Tarragona native flew into the stage and quickly slipped into the fight for the top places, in the first half especially, still in Bolivia. So much so that he reached the border crossing to Argentina in seventh place, just ahead of his teammate, the unbreakable Gerard Farres. More than ever, the “Red Army” performed, leading the Spanish riders with a great ride.

    They were out of Uyuni, taking the start sign from Evo Morales himself, and had ridden dusty, fast tracks and dry river beds to reach the neutralized part at the Argentinian border. As predicted by the weather forecast, the expected storms rolled into the quickest and easiest part of the stage; It rained so much that several rivers overflowed onto the track, and the organization decided to suspend the race. Only thirty pilots had managed to reach the first checkpoint of the second part of the special when it was cancelled, and although they struggled on to the finish, the organization took the logical decision to count only the first part of the special. The remaining riders took an alternative route to the finish line.

    Ivan Cervantes was exultant: “I am very happy with the result, but even happier for having arrived to Salta and taking a day off, I’m exhausted. I felt very good on the bike and I liked the kind of terrain, so things have gone better. Of course, after the border, with the rain, it was torture.”

    Gerard Farres was also positive: “I rode another progressive stage and got to the neutralization riding well and with confidence, but the rain complicated things and it was getting increasingly worse. The trouble is that we have to carry on with a long liaison to Salta “.

    Antonio Gimeno was one of the first to be affected by the cancellation “it was pouring rain and when it was my turn they stopped the race because there were  important floods which could even carry a  motorcycle and safety is always first”.

    In a stage with a feeling transition, the Dakar has again made its mark with important discards as Walkner was injured and the Spanish team is increasingly closer to its goal of finishing the race and being the first private fleet, fighting face to face with factory riders. The pilots arrived drenched and exhausted to Salta, where awaits a dreamed rest day.

    Stage classification:
    1-MEO, 2:27:27
    2-BENAVIDES +01: 53
    3-GONCALVES +03: 06
    7-CERVANTES +05: 33
    8-FARRÉS +06 01
    32-GIMENO +13:12
    76-OLIVERAS +43: 16
    83-ROMERO +49: 45

    Overall Rating:
    1-GONCALVES, 22:52:30
    2-PRICE +03:12
    3-SVITKO +09:24
    8-FARRÉS +29:57
    18-CERVANTES +56:59
    32-GIMENO +01:47:04
    77-OLIVERAS +06:23:26
    78-ROMERO +06:33:25

    Tomorrow’s stage
    01/09/2016 – SALTA (ARG)

    Active relaxation
    Back in Argentina and in the beautiful city of Salta, the survivors of the 2016 Dakar caravan will take their deserved breather. A rest day which means extra work for mechanics who must thoroughly check the bikes, while pilots gather strength for the second and decisive week.