We came across herds of llamas!

A well-rounded special, with nice, fun stretches with a focus on technique and others which were all about raw speed. We spent most of the stage at the front, except for a short while when Nasser Al-Attiyah overtook us, but he made a small navigation mistake and we moved to the front again. Finding our way around wasn't overly difficult, but that didn't mean opening the course was easy, as we came across herds of llamas several times and had to brake hard and then drive carefully while they got out of the way. We scared them away for the other drivers and it cost us some time, because when you go down to 50 km/h, at this altitude it takes a while before you get back to 160!


bike / audio


The altitude affected me a bit physically

I made sure to breathe in deeply on a couple of ridges, because it's true that when you go on the attack you feel that the altitude affects you a bit physically. A nice special, not too difficult, but with lots of technical, fun parts. I'm always wary when I see mud because you never know what lurks beyond a puddle. If the water is brown, you can't see whether it's 20 or 50 cm deep, so it's easy to fall. Of course, it's not easy to drive in the mud and fill the radiators and air inlets with filth, but no worries, we'll clean it up.




Trying to win all the remaining stages

The special was quite good for us, with a very fast course but a very technical sector as well. In all honesty, everything went smoothly, and from now on we'll be following this strategy: trying to to win all the remaining stages until Valparaíso.




A little mistake at a crossroads!

We set a very high pace from the get-go. It was a very fast special and I quickly got in the wake of Stéphane Peterhansel, but I wasn't able to overtake him. I eventually found a gap, but I didn't manage to hold onto the lead for long, because a bit later I made a little mistake at a crossroads and took a wrong turn. I lost some time but, more importantly, "Peter" seized the chance to get back in front and from then on it was pointless to take risks to catch up with him. Anyway, it was a good day all in all.




We'll go on the attack, but we won't risk everything

Our day wasn't half bad despite a flat tyre and having to drive a few kilometres in the dust of Giniel de Villiers before we managed to overtake him. Anyway, I'm happy, there's one day less left and we're still in the lead. 30 minutes should be enough to take it easy if everything goes well, so we'll take the race day by day and go on the attack, but we won't risk everything. So far so goof, I'm happy.


bike / audio


I wasn't really focused

I didn't really care because the death of Eric [Palante] was still fresh in my mind and the altitude gave me a headache. So I wasn't really focused. As a result, I got lost in the first part of the special, and thereafter I just tried to make it to the finish. Then, in the second part, I woke up and pulled out all the stops to try and get back all the time I'd lost in the first special. At any rate, the motorcycle doesn't miss a beat, the entire Sherco team has worked hard on the machine, and it shows. Nothing to report, everything is well.


car / audio


Things will get much better at sea level

I was expecting to lose time in spades in today's stage, as we have a big power deficit at high altitude. It makes a huge difference. Nani overtook me on a fast sector, we tried to follow him, but even going at 100% wasn't enough. To make matters worse, we lost two more minutes due to a flat. I think things will get much better for us at sea level.


bike / audio


Bolivia is breathtaking

It was a beautiful special. This is the first time we've been to Bolivia and it's breathtaking. But the cold and the altitude have left me completely voiceless. There isn't much to do with the motorcycle.


car / audio


I can't afford any more mistakes

It was a bad day at the office for us. First, we had a flat tyre when I hit a stone. Fifty kilometres later I got stuck for five minutes. Although the race is still long, I know I can't afford any more mistakes.


bike / audio


I spent the entire stage at the front

I'm happy with the stage. I started thirst and, after catching up with the leaders, I spent the entire stage riding strong at the front. Navigation was very important. Marc caught up with me and we rode fast. We had to be careful because the tracks were slippery and dangerous. At the end there were about 40 kilometres of mud, where we also had to b cautious. But all went well. I maintained my pace until the finish. I'm delighted with the stage.


truck / audio


We set a high pace

It was a very fast stage and we set a high pace. We didn't have any punctures because we were on the lookout for stones. I've heard Karginov finished 7 minutes back, which is good. We lost about 30% of power due to the altitude, but it was the same for everybody.


truck / audio


We had to stay focused until the end

I lost tonnes of time due to a problem with the brakes, but I think we had a good stage nevertheless, we'll be up there. Overall, the truck worked well and we should be happy. The stage wasn't too difficult, but it was long and we had to stay focused until the end. A good result.



Stage report

Barreda and Sainz strike back but Coma and Roma stay in control

Spain's Joan Barreda took his third victory in the 2014 edition, beating overall leader Marc Coma by 4′03″ at the end of a historic stage that took the Dakar to its 28th country. Instead of making a foray into Bolivia, the cars raced on a wide 500 km loop around Salta that was more suited to Carlos Sainz's buggy. "El Matador", not one to let such... [more]


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