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Stage 10 - Tuesday 12 January 2010 | La Serena > Santiago

  • Connection 112 km
  • Special 238 km
  • Connection 236 km


Marc Coma: “I went looking for victory”

“Now we’ve left the Atacama Desert behind us and we’re heading south. It’s a complete change of terrain. That was like a day of endurance riding. There was a lot of skidding, but it was technical and interesting. Every day, I try to show that I’m quick and comfortable on the tracks. I went looking for victory. I started first and opened the road for the whole stage. It’s hard. In fact it’s the hardest thing to do. And trying to claw back some time is difficult too. But we did it, so I’m happy, even proud – all thanks to the team”.

Cyril Despres: “I protected my lead”

Today, we could have easily lost first place in the rally, so I protected my lead. That said, I wasn’t just taking it easy either. There were lots of slippy parts, bends with big drops on one side as well as stones on the tracks. For me, there was no need to go on all out attack. We’re now on a different type of terrain with hard tracks that we have to adapt to. It’s completely different from the last three days. It’s a good mix”.

David Frétigné: “I chose to attack”

“I had a good day. It was a super special, the kind I like. There was lots of technical riding, skids, accelerations, steering… I got caught in a bit of dust at the start this morning, but I managed to overtake 3 or 4 bikes. It was tricky. Some of the bends were quite sharp and narrow, but I didn’t make any mistakes. I’m pleased with my performance today. A 450cc bike is agile and fun. On this type of special stage, you can express yourself and even enjoy yourself. Now, I can’t afford to make mistakes. I’ll have to ride as fast as possible. Today it wasn’t possible to gain back much time, but it would have been easy to lose some. However, I chose to attack to try and get a few minutes back, and I succeeded. It might not be much, but it’s already something. I’m climbing upwards and getting closer to the podium”.

Juan Manuel Gonzalez: “It’s vital to reach the finish”

“It was a very technical stage which required a lot of difficult riding. I really enjoyed it. It’s just a pity that I started amongst the last places. I had to overtake a lot and I couldn’t take any risks due to the dust. It’s a stage that would suit Marc (Coma) and Carlos (Sainz). Let’s wait and see what happens now, but this is my first day without any problems. I didn’t break anything. I didn’t get a puncture. So, in the end I’m very pleased. I’m going at my own pace, taking every day as it comes. There’s also Declerck and Rafal – it’s a special battle between us. As regards the Patronellis, we’re not even thinking about them any more. We’re riding our own race, they are riding theirs. The aim is to finish. I’ve won stages, so one more or one less won’t change anything. No, what’s important is reaching the finish. It’s vital given the efforts made to be able to take part. Otherwise, it would be a catastrophe”.

Carlos Sainz: “No problems”

“Good. No problems. 80 kilometres after the start we caught up with Nasser. We stayed behind him because he couldn’t hear the Sentinel and we couldn’t get past. It was quite a slow and winding route, mostly lanes. What I did first was to get close to Nasser, then I stayed around at 1’40. After that, from the 80-km point onwards, we were driving in the dust”.

Nasser Al Attiyah: “For me it was not a good feeling”

“It was very dangerous at that speed. There were a lot of corners, a lot of slippery stuff. For me it was not a good feeling and I’m really happy to have finished this stage without any problems. For me today it was very stressful because I opened the road. I didn’t exactly know what the braking distances were. But nobody overtook us. Carlos caught up with us in the last 50 kilometres. But it’s okay, I’m quite happy with today. It’s normal when you start as first car to lose a lot of time. Tomorrow there will be some off-road and more dunes. It will be good for me”.

Stéphane Peterhansel: “I hope I won’t get in the way of the fight for the lead”

“Honestly, we were not bothered by the dust. Miller and Chicherit, who were in front of us, must have driven quite quickly. We had to be careful with the brakes overheating at the beginning of the special because it was very technical. I started to pick up the pace at the end. We put in a good time. These cars are better suited for wide open spaces with some technical sections that don’t last too long. But in this case, for 250 km, we had to tackle winding tracks. My foot was always hovering around the brakes. Tomorrow, I hope I won’t get in the way of the fight for the lead because between Sainz and Al Attiyah, it’s a fierce battle for first place and I wouldn’t want either of them to be in my dust and make a mistake. We will try and drive fast, but if we hear someone behind, we’ll let them past”.

Vladimir Chagin: “problem-free”

“In my opinion, it was the finest stage of the rally. Since the start, it’s been a wonderful race, but today, on the 238 kilometres of the timed section, it was perfection itself. Sometimes it almost felt like a computer game. In sporting terms, it was problem-free. It was a good stage which we took at an easy pace, since the dice seem to have been cast for the leading places”.