Verhoeven and Pain Revel in the Beauty of Ruta 402015-01-15 20:05
Yamaha Netherlands Verhoeven Team’s Frans Verhoeven and Yamaha Factory Racing Rally Team Yamalube’s Olivier Pain once again gave it their all during the second leg of the second marathon stage. The Dutchmen and the Frenchman reveled in the beauty of Ruta 40 (Route 40) and finished in 9th and 10th place.
Split into two specials of 157 and 141 kilometres, today’s stage to Termas Rio Hondo made up for the rough courses the riders had to face this last week and great levels of grip really allowed them to enjoy riding. Much of the route went over twisty mountain tracks and the riders praised the experience unanimously.
The stage was not enjoyed by all Yamaha riders unfortunately. Spanish Yamaha rider Juan Pedrero didn’t start this morning and was very nearly joined by Xavier de Soultrait, who was ill all night with gastroenteritis. The Frenchman finally arrived at this evening’s bivouac in a courageous 21st place. Overall Olivier Pain maintains his 10th place, Xavier de Soultrait is 13th with Frans Verhoeven 16th.
Xavier de Soultrait
In the quad category there were some different names on top of the leader board than the usual suspects. Today it was Christophe Declerck who came out on top, leading from fellow Yamaha rider Nelson Sanabria (at 06’35). However the order of the overall stage remained unchanged. Rafal Sonik stays ahead of 18 year old Jeremias González Ferioli, by 2h50’01.
Tonight the riders will stay at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, to cover a long cross-country journey the following morning, the penultimate day.
10th / at 06'11, overall 10th / 2h55’17
“Yesterday it was extremely cold on the liaison but I dressed accordingly and didn’t suffer too much. Then in the special I didn’t attack too hard as I didn’t want to risk damaging the bike in anyway on the marathon stage. Then today, knowing I would meet up with my assistance again, I was able to attack a little harder. I’m getting to know my bike’s strengths and weaknesses much more now and ride accordingly, making up time where I can. The route was really nice to ride, up in the mountains. It had rained overnight so there was lots of grip. Not much in the way of navigation but apart from that it was pure pleasure.”
9th / 05'34, overall 16th / 5h07’50
“I had a big scare yesterday. Just before the start of the special the organisers directed me across a river and my bike started to sink into the mud. I had no choice but to lay it on its side, otherwise it would have disappeared completely. Then by luck my assistance crew turned up, saw what was happening and got an army truck to pull my bike out with a winch. You can imagine, just 10 minutes before the start both me and my bike were completely covered in mud. Once I got into the special, the tracks were so nice I forgot about the incident completely. Two days of riding like that makes up for all the bad days of riding in the fesh-fesh!”
Xavier de Soultrait
18th / 12'35, overall 13th / 4h10'47
“Yesterday evening, as I was approaching the marathon bivouac, I started to feel very weak and thought it must be altitude sickness. However the doctors knew better and as soon as I arrived they put me on a drip – apparently there is a mini epidemic among the Dakar participants. All night I was vomiting, listening to the rain falling and hoping they would cancel today’s stage. No such luck – so I just rode in economy mode. Overall I’m 40 minutes behind Rodrigues so I have no one to chase after but Barreda. He is currently less than 25 minutes behind me and I would really like to hold on to my 13th place overall!”
Source: Yamaha Motor Europe / www.yamaha-racing.com
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