Dakar 2005: Stage 13 Through Mali’s Bush Land Full of Speed Traps and ObstaclesAlfie Cox couldn’t believe it. He was pissed off when he arrived at the finish in Kayes. Today he couldn’t find his rhythm. “There was one speed trap behind the other,” he claimed, “I constantly had to reduce speed so I wouldn’t get any penalties. There was no fun in it.”The desert fox wasn’t alone with this opinion. Many of the others agreed, including Chris Blais. Although he was more than satisfied with his 3rd place finish, he was still mad about having to use his brakes all the time. “I actually counted 30 speed traps today. We did pass through many villages, but that was just too much. Accelerating and braking, accelerating and braking—continuously. It was really difficult to find a satisfying rhythm.”The Australian Andy Caldecott claimed the best result today. But he too, had to overcome an obstacle, a typical one for this country. “I hit a cow in its rear. Luckily I was just tumbling a little. I hope the cow is doing okay, too.” Caldecott clinched his second stage win today.” At the beginning I was pacing along,” he claimed, “After the accident with the cow I reduced my speed a little. I didn’t want to risk too much. In all it was good that we had a day to rest yesterday. I must say, I was able to really concentrate on the track today.”Marc Coma was feeling similar. “Bit by bit I’m getting back into racing. The stage required a lot of attention,” he explained, “I had to sternly concentrate on my road book; there was no time for other thoughts today.” Coma started in the first position this morning. He led the pack from the start until the finish. “To start off in first position this morning took a lot of effort. But everything went well and I was making good pace. The only trouble was the many animals on the track—this was dangerous.”Cyril Despres had to endure a different moment of shock. “I hit a large rock on the ground and crushed my exhaust. Afterwards the exhaust pipe was completely smashed. I needed a few minutes to repair the damage. I bent the exhaust with pliers until the fumes could escape again. Afterwards I continued riding a bit more carefully.”However, Cyril was fast enough to hold on to the overall leadership. He has a 16:06 minute lead on Marc Coma. But the Spaniard has not yet given up his hopes for the victory. “Tomorrow will be another long day. Many things might happen,” supposed Coma, “But if Cyril continues at the same pace it will become more and more difficult to overtake him.” Alfie Cox is third overall. He and Isidre Esteve Pujol will have a battle for a place on the podium—Isidre is only about half a minute off Cox’s pace.Thousands of kilometers away from Kayes a group of people assembled to mourn for Fabrizio Meoni. The double Dakar champion was buried in his hometown of Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy this afternoon. Stefan Pierer, head of KTM, and Heinz Kinigadner, head of sports at KTM, represented KTM at the funeral and paid their last respects to Fabrizio.Tomorrow the final spurt begins. The route leads towards Senegal, to Tambacounda. The race is on for 529 km. It is the last long stage in this year’s Dakar. It leads through a savannah landscape. The competitors will have to cross through several rivers, and again, there will be numerous villages along the way.
|8||5||DE AZEVEDO||KTM||1h 39:49|
|24||20||DE URIARTE||KTM||9h 14:23|
|43||40||RAMOS MARTINEZ||KTM||18h 41:59|
|50||52||CISCAR CHISBERT||KTM||21h 51:52|