The Dakar Rally
Day 6 Arica – Calama 313 km liaison 454 km special
This first special stage held in Chile took the competitors to the Atacama desert, a plateau that covers a 600-mile strip of land on the Pacific coast west of the Andes Mountains, famous for the torrid temperatures, sand dunes and salt lakes.
The Dakar is getting tougher and tougher and riders faced today a 454-km stage, split in two parts by 100 km of liaison. The first stage was characterized by big rolling dunes at the sea level, while the second part climbed up to 3,200 meters, before reaching the mining town of Calama at 2,200 meters of altitude.
Overall it was a very long day that stressed the competitors’ bodies as well as the machines. Endurance alone is not sufficient as riders need to focus always at their road books and ride with an accurate navigation.
Chilean rider Chaleco Lopez won the first fully Chilean special stage of the year in front Portuguese Ruben Faria (2’34 behind) and Cyril Despres, third at 03’48, while Helder Rodrigues finished 7th , 06’.58” behind the stage winner. Argentinian Javier Pizzolito rode with a good pace and finished 16th, 11’37” from Lopez. It was a positive day for Johnny Campbell in 24th, still suffering from sore ribs.
With today’s results Helder Rodrigues gained some valuable positions and sits in 9th place overall, Javier Pizzolito in 13th and Johnny Campbell in 77th, due the problem he had on the third stage.
|1||Lopez Francisco (KTM)|
|2||Ruben Faria (KTM) +2.34|
|3||Cyril Despres (KTM) +3.48|
|4||Kurt Caselli (KTM) +4.48|
|5||Jeremias Israel Esquerre (Honda) +6.13|
|7||Helder Rodrigues – TEAM HRC (Honda) +6.58|
|16||Javier Pizzolito – TEAM HRC (Honda) +11.37|
|24||Johnny Campbell – TEAM HRC (Honda) +23.41|
|1||Oliver Pain (YAMAHA)|
|2||Cyril Despres (KTM) +2.22|
|3||David Casteu (YAMAHA) +4.48|
|4||Lopez Francisco (KTM) +6.06|
|5||Ruben Faria (KTM) +8.35|
|9||Helder Rodrigues – TEAM HRC (Honda) +25.23|
|13||Javier Pizzolito – TEAM HRC (Honda) +29.49|
|77||Johnny Campbell – TEAM HRC (Honda) +05:23.18|