-- Dakar 2013 - Stage Eleven - La Rioja to Fiambala total distance 483 km,
timed special 221 km
2013 Dakar Rally Stage 11 Results: La Rioja to Fiambala total distance 483 km, timed special 221 km (reduced to 191 km)
1. Kurt Caselli, USA (KTM) 2:55:01
2. Paulo Goncalves, PRT (Husq) 2:59:46
3. Cyril Despres, FRA (KTM) 3:01:25
4. Joan Pedrero, ESP (KTM) 3:05:19
5. Chaleco Lopez, CHL (KTM) 3:05:52
6. Joan Barreda, ESP (Husq) 3:06:10
7. Alessandro Botturi, ITA (Husq) 3:06:32
8. Ivan Jakes, SVK (KTM) 3:06:37
9. Alain Duclos, FRA (Sherco) 3:07:22
10. Ruben Faria, PRT (KTM) 3:13:04
11. Frans Verhoeven, NED (Yamaha) 3:16:17
2013 Dakar Rally Overall Standings after Stage 11:
1. Cyril Despres (KTM) 33:48:29
2. Ruben Faria (KTM) 34:01:45
3. Chaleco Lopez (KTM) 34:06:37
4. Ivan Jakes (KTM) 34:12:02
5. Alessandro Botturi (Husq) 34:18:01
6. Joan Pedrero (KTM) 34:32:41
7. Oliver Pain (Yamaha) 34:55:41
8. Frans Verhoeven (Yamaha) 35:03:06
9. Helder Rodrigues (Honda) 35:04:53
10. Javier Pizzolito (Honda) 35:11:42
15 FAGGOTTER (AUS) 123 YAMAHA 35:38:51 1:50:22 -
17 GRABHAM (AUS) 57 KTM 36:04:14 2:15:45 0:15:00
29 STRANGE (AUS) 131 HONDA 37:41:06 3:52:37 0:15:00
35 SMITH (AUS) 156 HONDA 38:45:51 4:57:22 0:15:00
63 PAVEY (AUS) 51 HUSQVARNA 42:33:07 8:44:38 0:15:00
105 FISH (AUS) 39 HUSQVARNA 58:47:10 24:58:41 9:15:00
Although the 11th special was again affected by the weather, American Kurt Caselli obtained a 2nd stage victory on the Dakar, whilst general standings leader Cyril Despres further increased his lead. In the car race, the special was stopped after only 53 km, following flash flooding that prevented the competitors from crossing a river on the route of the stage. This was a Godsend for Robby Gordon who picks up his 1st win on the Dakar 2013 as a result, whilst in the truck race De Rooy should be granted the victory. The situation has not led to any changes in the general standings, with Peterhansel and Nikolaev still leading their respective categories.
Caselli at the double, Despres at ease. On the 11th special stage, shortened by 30 km due to the delicate state of the start following bad weather during the last few days over the region of Fiambala, Kurt Caselli again proved that he has not just replaced Marc Coma by chance. Having started fifth, the American took advantage of the sand made more stable by the last few days' rainfall, to show his power and skill on Baja types of terrains. The outcome was a 2nd stage victory on his first Dakar for the newcomer nicknamed “Special K”, 4'45 ahead of Paulo Gonçalves and 6'24 in front of Cyril Despres. Despite a small navigational error at the start of the stage, the title holder nevertheless made up for it by the end and strengthened his leading position in the general standings. He now leads team-mate Ruben Faria by 13'16" and "Chaleco" Lopez, who finished the stage in 5th place after losing his bearings somewhat toward the end of the stage, by 18'08”. Finally, following a serious fall 50 km from the finishing line, Spaniard Joan Barreda injured his shoulder and is not sure of being able to start tomorrow.
In the quad category, Australian Paul Smith also took advantage of the more sturdy sand than thought to pick up his 1st stage victory on the Dakar, 4'18 ahead of Gaston Gonzalez and 5'42 in front of Marcos Patronelli. This result has not changed much in the general standings, where the younger Patronelli brother is still way out in front, with a lead of 1:50'22” over Ignacio Casale and 2:46'59” over Rafal Sonik.
In the car category, the weather again threw a spanner in the works on the 11th stage. The simultaneous flash flooding in two rivers at the 69 km and 85 km points on the day's route forced the race directors, for safety reasons, to halt the race at CP1, after 84 km. Subject to the race officials' decision, Robby Gordon, who was in front at this point, with a lead of 38'' over Ronan Chabot and 1'47” over Lucio Alvarez, should be awarded the stage victory, making it his 8th on the Dakar. In 6th at CP1, 39'' behind his main rival Giniel de Villiers, Stéphane Peterhansel still retains command of the general standings with a lead of 51'59” over the South African.
Finally, the problem was the same for the truck race, and so was the outcome. Gerard de Rooy achieved the best time at CP1, 56" ahead of Alès Loprais. As a result, this will mean a 24th stage victory for the Dutchman on the Dakar and the 6th this year. In the general standings, Russian Eduard Nikolaev will still have a solid lead, but should now sit in front of his team-mate Ayrat Mardeev, who looks to have taken advantage of the problems encountered by Czech driver Martin Kolomy at the very beginning of the stage.
- Joan Barreda Bort - "We went through plenty of dry river beds, so by the end, my goggles were dirty. There was a point where it was a little bit deeper and I fell. It was 50 kilometres from the end of the special, around the 180-km point. I banged my shoulder. I'll have a look at it at the bivouac this evening but it's really painful. We'll have to see if I can carry on. I fell because of the mud and my dirty goggles. I don't know what's wrong with my shoulder but it's really painful."
- Paulo Goncalves - "Today was a really difficult stage. We got lucky and it rained a lot on the days before, so the sand was really good to ride on. I think the riders starting behind us caught us quicker. I finished on top of the tree again and I'm really happy for me and for Husqvarna. We have three days to handle and we'll try each day to fight for victory."
- Kurt Caselli - "The beginning was really tough. Due to the rain there was a bunch of ruts everywhere, so the first few guys had to go really slowly. I think I started fifth, so I was able to catch up. Then I passed Cyril at maybe after 60 km back and just followed on from there. Today was good, it was perfect. The dirt was wet so you could see fine and the weather was good, so it was a nice day. Save for a few drop-offs, the road-book was good today and I think everyone should be fine. I feel good and the bike feels good. I'm starting to get more comfortable with the road-book, so I'm just riding around. Before I really had a lot of trouble and missed some way points. Today was better, because I got to find my own way and didn't miss anything, so it was good. I'm taking it day by day every day."
- Cyril Despres - "The stage in Fiambala always holds surprises in store. I'm more tired today after 190 km than I was for the day before yesterday over more than 800 km. There was a storm in the dunes and it started raining. It wasn't easy to navigate. We came across some streams full of mud and water, which brought back bad memories from last year. I don't know what today means in terms of results, but I'm just happy to be here without too many problems. Fiambala really is a sh**-hole. We spent time in the water walking alongside the bike. Today, everyone was a little bit calmer, but I knew it would be complicated. I'm surprised that I haven't seen more riders finish behind me, because at one point, there were 6 or 8 of us riding together. The pace went up a lot after Kurt overtook me. Perhaps that's why I'm a bit tired."
-- KTM Report
Caselli picks up second Stage win in first ever Dakar
Red Bull KTM factory rider Kurt Caselli (USA), drafted into the Orange factory team to ride the KTM 450 Rally bike of injured teammate Marc Coma on Wednesday picked up his second stage win in his first ever Dakar. Teammates Cyril Despres and Ruben Faria consolidated their 1-2 overall positions after Stage Eleven of the Dakar 2013
The American, who also won Stage Seven and has earned himself the nickname of ‘Special K’ took advantage of the Baja-like terrain on Wednesday to attack on his KTM 450 Rally bike after rain in the area had firmed up some of the loose sand. Classified at He is now working on getting back into the top 20 after picking up more than three hours of penalties for missing checkpoints and waypoints in Stage Eight.
Despres, who is going for his fifth Dakar title had a good day in a stage that was both technical and physically challenging to finish in third, six minutes 24 behind Caselli. He now has a 13 minutes 16 seconds lead in the overall standings from Faria, his support rider or ‘water carrier’. Factory teammate Joan Pedrero was fourth in Wednesday and is sixth overall while KTM rider Chaleco Lopez was fifth in the stage and stays at third overall.
It was an unlucky day however for South African Darryl Curtis of the KTM Factory B Team who crashed with about 70 km of the timed special to go. He managed to finish the stage but had pain in his shoulder and back and was receiving medical treatment at the Bivouac, Team Manager Alex Doringer reported. All other six riders in the main factory team and the B team are in good shape.
KTM riders currently occupy the first four places in the overall standings but there are many potential traps ahead as the Dakar caravan back towards Chile and the Atacama Desert on its way to Santiago and the finish line on Saturday, January 19. By the time they reach the Chilean capital riders would have competed more than 8000 km since the start of the race in Lima on January 5, 2013. In past days they have been battling with extreme heat, which adds another layer of difficulty to the challenge.
Alex Doringer: "Caselli did an amazing job today and we were all impressed, including Cyril. Cyril was able to use Caselli’s speed to ride with him for his third place in today’s stage and to consolidate his overall lead. Now we head for the Atacama Desert and this is an area we know from earlier Dakar Rallies. Cyril is feeling good and looking forward to getting into the dunes again,” he said.
Despres, one of the most experienced riders in the field is taking everything in his stride. “The challenge is always to find the right balance between concentration and preserving yourself and your bike,” he said. “If I ride too slowly I lose concentration… But if you ride too hard on a race of this length and inevitably you risk wearing out both man and machine.”
On Thursday riders leave Fiambala in Argentina to head back across the Andres and down into the notorious Atacama desert, the driest place in the world. The stage takes them to Copiapo in Chile and they will travel for 715 km, 319 km of which are timed special.
-- Husky Report
Paulo Goncalves took second place in the much-feared La Rioja to Fiambalà stage of the Dakar 2013. The Portuguese rider rode an error-free race on the TE449RR by Speedbrain which handled the job of the sandy terrain perfectly. Paulo thus moves up to eleventh place on the overall leader-board.
Alessandro Botturi too, put in a valiant effort struggling throughout the stage with a fractured pinky on his left-hand after yesterday’s fall. Alessandro consolidates his fifth overall position with three days to go, whittling away at the time of Jakes who finished five seconds behind the Italian rider.
Joan "Bang Bang" Barreda was less fortunate, finishing in sixth place. He battled on through the special test with a pain in the left shoulder, as well as an aching hand from a previous fall. Matt Fish, too made up ground coming in twenty-first.
The Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain thus rounds off another successful day with three out of the first seven riders, and a ninth podium place in eleven days of racing.
Tomorrow it’s back to Chile with the 715 km (447 mile) Fiambalà-Copiapò stage including a 319 km special and a difference in height of some 3000 metres as the stage takes on the Andes.
Paulo Goncalves: ”I rode a great race. I’m pleased for myself and for the whole team who really worked well together in this stage. I was really up for it today, and I’d love to be able to win a stage before it’s over! I’ll keep trying.”
Joan Barreda: “I hit a hole at high speed and felt an intense pain in my left shoulder. I had to slow the pace right down so that it wouldn’t get worse. My hand was playing up a lot too. I hope to feel better for the last three days.”
Alessandro Botturi: “My finger was really causing me a lot of pain. I thought that I wasn’t going to be able to make it, but I hung in there. I’m pleased with the way that it went today. The thing is still wide open.”
-- HRC Report
Famous for its white sand dunes and its torrid temperatures, Fiambala is always a very special stage for the Dakar competitors. A cloudy sky with some rainfalls at the beginning of the day was a blessing for the riders that tackled todays’ stage characterized by sandy dunes mixed with some rocky paths and difficult navigation.
Shortened by 30 km due to the bad weather conditions of the last few days over the region of Catamarca, today’s strategy for the HRC Team was to attack to close the gap from the front runners. Starting in 9th position, Helder Rodrigues gave a tremendous performance both in the first rocky part as well on the dunes, without making any navigation mistakes. He was 1st at CP1 and 2nd at CP2 but bad luck prevented him from a well deserved result that would have allowed him to make a big step forward towards the podium. A branch caught one of the wires of his bike and broke it. The bike stopped and it took Helder at least 48 minutes to find out the problem and repair it. Finishing 29th, Rodrigues lost 3 positions and now sits in 9th place overall.
A navigation mistake at the start of the stage complicated today’s performance for team mate Javier Pizzolito, but the Argentinian was able to recover positions, finishing the stage in 21st position that assured him a place in the top 10 overall.
Even if the sand was harder due to the rainfalls of the last few days, it was a very challenging stage for Johnny Campbell, who suffered a lot from the injuries of the previous stages. Despite the intense pain from suspected broken ribs, the “Baja 1000” legend finished 34th and sits now 45th in the overall standings.
Javier Pizzolito SS11 21st +36’29”, 10th overall: “Everything is possible in Fiambala and the cloudy sky helped us a lot as it was not as hot as we expected. The navigation was very difficult today and I got lost with a bunch of riders at the beginning of the stage, where the path was rocky and there were a lot of tracks. It took us a while to find the first way point, but afterwards I took my rhythm, recovering some positions. I enjoyed a lot the dunes and I look forward to the next stages in Chile. Being 10th overall is a good result but we need to maintain the concentration as tomorrow’s stage in Copiapo will be really crucial for the final result of the race”.
Helder Rodrigues SS11 29th +48’29”, 9th overall: “I’m very disappointed because today I was flying. I was very fast on the stony paths as well as on the dunes, I made no navigation mistakes but it was just an unlucky day for us. A branch caught a wire of the machine, ripping it out and the machine stopped. It took me a lot of time to fix the problem. It’s a pity because today’s plan was to attack and I did it but it was definitely not our day”.
Johnny Campbell, SS11 34th +52’52", 45th overall: “The cloudy sky was a true blessing because I was not fit and the heat would have complicated my stage. My navigation was perfect but I suffered a lot from the pain in my ribs, especially on the dunes and the “off piste” tracks. I fought with my body on the river crossings as there was a lot of water and I was happy to get to the finish”.
Katsumi Yamazaki, Team HRC Director: “It was a bad day for us. We had planned to attack with Helder in order to close the gap with the first riders and to get closer to a podium finish. Unfortunately he had an issue with the machine that made him loose valuable time spoiling his stage result and compromising his position in the overall. It’s a pity but Dakar may be like this.”
-- Yamaha Report
Today’s 11th stage of the 2013 Dakar Rally proved to be another impressive one for Yamaha Netherlands Verhoeven Team rider Frans Verhoeven. The day’s action took the riders through more sand dunes, then on to pass the eastern slopes of the Andes mountains. The Dutchman was on top form on his YZ450F based machine, attacking the hugely varied conditions of the 191km stage (shortened from an original 220km by organisers) from La Rioja to Fiambalá, finishing in 11th to jump an impressive five places up the overall standings and break solidly into the top ten, from 13th to eighth.
Fellow Yamaha rider Olivier Pain also made today count and gained valuable ground. The French rider moved up two places in the overall standings from ninth to seventh. Yamaha Racing France rider Pain wrapped up today’s stage in 14th after a solid ride. Michael Metge continues to bring up the rear, just inside the top 20 in 19th position.
“Right from the beginning it was very difficult today,” commented Frans Verhoeven. “There were waterholes, broken edges, it was a real mess. It was difficult to ride but also difficult to navigate. At one point I thought I was on the right track, but soon I found out it was completely wrong. Overall some very tricky circumstances! I rode with Alain Duclos along the way; together we tried to find a waypoint at kilometer 47. It was well really hidden, I’m sure a lot of riders went in the wrong direction there. There were ten guys in front of me and I saw ten tracks going different ways. I moved on by myself and entered the riverbeds. We had rain on the way to the special and the special itself was wet as well. There was a lot of mud and water in normally dry riverbeds. The water had broken the edges, which made it even more difficult. The Dakar is not over yet. It began with some hard stages and it will be difficult until the end. I’ll try to make the best of it.”
-- Ben Grabham Report
For a Dakar first-timer Aussie KTM rider Ben Grabham has shown the touch of a seasoned veteran, bouncing back from yesterday’s brake failure to place himself on the cusp of a top-10 start for tomorrow.
As the Dakar Rally’s 11th Stage unfolded in the much-vaunted Fiambala region, Grabham overcame a woeful 41st place start position to surge through to a well-deserved 12th place finish.
The result elevates the HSE Motorex KTM Desert Racing Team rider to his highest overall position of the Dakar Rally in 17th place.
“We had a good stage today,” said Team Manager Garry Connell. “Fiambala has a reputation of being the toughest stage each year but the recent rain and cooler day made it a lot easier than expected.”
American Kurt Caselli won today’s stage ahead of Portugal’s Paolo Goncalves and overall leader of the Dakar Cyril Despres.
Three stages and almost 900km of Special Stage remain in the 2013 Dakar Rally, including tomorrow’s return across the Andes Cordillera to the Atacama Desert, where awaits every kind of test that exists in long distance rally. Among the most spectacular of the challenges will be the big ‘cathedral’ dunes which competitors will need to climb to avoid entering deep and treacherous basins.
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