-- Dakar 2013 - Stage Thirteen - Copiapo – La Serena: total distance 735
km, timed special 441 km
Results Stage Thirteen (Provisional) - Copiapo – La Serena: total distance 735 km, timed special 441 km
1, Chaleco Lopez, Chile, KTM 3 hours 44.54
2, Cyril Despres, France, KTM at 5.25
3, Paolo Goncalves, Portugal, Husqvarna at 5.29
4, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM at 7.42
5, Joan Barreda, Spain, Husqvarna at 8.24
6, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Honda at 9.37
Overall standings after Stage Thirteen
1, Despres, KTM 41 hours 37.18
2, Lopez, KTM at 8.15
3, Faria, KTM at 14.41
4, Jakes, KTM at 24.45
5, Pedrero, KTM 43.31
The day before the finish in Santiago, "Chaleco" Lopez put in a first-class performance between Copiapo and La Serena to pick up his 4th stage victory in 2013 and more importantly to move into 2nd place in the general standings at the expense of Ruben Faria.
On home soil, it is well known that Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez is formidable. As proof, out of his 6 victories on the Dakar before this 35th edition, four of the triumphs were obtained in Chile. The motivation of national pride was all the stronger today since at the start of the 13th stage, the country's idol was in a position to grab 2nd place in the general standings. Taking advantage of being the seventh rider to start, Chaleco let rip over the 380-km of the day's special to leave the stopwatch smoking and pick up his 4th stage victory on the Dakar 2013 and his 10th overall in his career on the event… as well as his 6th on his native Chilean soil. At the finishing line, the Tamarugal Honda rider beat Frenchman Cyril Despres, 2nd today, by 5'25. He also put 5'29" between himself and Portugal's Paulo Gonçalves, but most significantly beat Portuguese rider Ruben Faria, who finished in only 15th place today, by 14'27.
As a result, in the general standings, whilst Cyril Despres remains solidly in the lead, he witnessed "Chaleco" moving into 2nd place, 8'15 behind him, whilst Ruben Faria, the title holder's water carrier, fell back into 3rd, 10'04 in front of Ivan Jakes.
In the quad category, although he opened the way today, Sebastian Husseini took advantage of being on his favourite terrain, namely wide open spaces, to put in the best time on the first section of the special. Unfortunately for him, the very quick terrain in the second section was more suitable to the powerful E-ATV ridden by Sarel Van Biljon. In the end, the South African grabbed his 2nd stage victory on the rally, 41'' ahead of the Dutchman, who lives in the United Arab Emirates, and 48'' in front of Ignacio Casale. Ensured of finishing 2nd in the general standings, the Chilean gained 2'11 on Marcos Patronelli, but the winner of the Dakar in 2010 is still in complete control and can leave the spotlight to the other riders, with a lead that stands at 1:50'24” in the general standings.
- Cyril Despres - "The bike race isn't just about strategy. It's also about rally-raid sport: we've just rode 440 km. I was feeling good on the first section, where there was quite a bit of navigation. Afterwards, I saw that I'd got some time back on Chaleco and that he wasn't going to disappear into the distance over 140 km. So I thought I had better be careful with the engine. Since I ate quite a bit of dust in the morning, I preferred to make sure and take it easy. For Ruben, we tried our best! In his defence, the navigation wasn't that easy in the morning. There were two or three tricky bits of reading to select the right track. As for celebrating, we still have 220 kilometres to the bivouac today and with 690 km tomorrow, it's not going to be a walk in the park…"
- Paulo Goncalves - "Today was a really good stage. After yesterday starting in second position I lost a little time, but today I started further behind and I caught up with many guys. I finished in 3rd in the end and I'm happy. This second week has been really good for me. Without the problem on day five, normally now I would have been fighting for the podium more easily. But that's the rally for you… I had one problem and some other guys did also, but tomorrow we will try and get to Santiago without any more problems and then we'll start work for the next Dakar."
- Joan Barreda Bort - "It was a long stage. On the first part there was a lot of navigation. Verhoeven and Faria set out to attack and I tried to follow them. I stayed with them for a while, but then I saw I should be taking it a bit more calmly, to avoid making a navigation error. I managed to reach the refuelling point opening the way. After refuelling, I set off in front with Hélder, but he took an off-track direction which wasn't the right one. I saw that it wasn't the right way, so I headed further to the right. I saw that Chaleco was there and he was moving at a good pace. It was a good stage, but quite complicated and it was easy to get lost today."
- Francisco Lopez - "Today, on the special, the first part was very hard with a lot of navigation. The second part was very fast. Today was a very good day; tomorrow the next special will be technical in La Serena. But I think I always go to Santiago in a very happy mood. Imagine being capable of winning in my country, that's motivation for the finish. All the people here, it's great. If it's not possible to get on top of the podium, I'm already very happy as it stands."
- Ruben Faria - "I knew I was going to lose time, but I didn't know he was going to ride as fast as that. I made a mistake after 191 km, with Barreda and Verhoeven, so we had to turn back. Afterwards, I saw that Chaleco was going hell for leather and I thought it best not to risk falling in trying to hang on to second place. I didn't come to the race for that anyway, I came to help Cyril. I didn't want to make a mistake."
- Husky Report
Dakar 2013, 13th Stage, Copiapo – La Serena
735 km stage (500 miles) including 441 km special test
Paulo Goncalves third and Joan Barreda fifth in the penultimate Dakar stage.
Local hero Chilean Chaleco Lopez won today’s stage of the Dakar, and in doing so equals Joan "Bang Bang" Barreda in the number of stage victories. Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves was the best of the Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain crossing the La Serena finish-line in third, just five seconds behind second place Despres who looks set to win his fifth Dakar tomorrow. The result takes Paulo up into tenth overall place.
Joan Barreda similarly put in a fine performance, setting off from third position. The rider took command of the main group, dominating the entire stage in first place as well as doing an excellent error-free navigation job for the whole 400 km of the special. He marked up the fifth best time in today’s section against the clock.
Matt Fish crossed the finish-line in seventeenth place. Alessandro Botturi had a second really unlucky day. Yesterday, a penalty and navigation errors caused him to lose an hour and half, today it was a technical problem and he was unable to finish the stage.
Tomorrow sees the final stretch for all the participants with a 626 km stage (391 miles) that runs from La Serena to Santiago, including a special test of 346 km.
Paulo Goncalves: “Today was a great race for me. I wanted to really push it more today, as I really wanted a win in this Dakar, but towards the end it started getting really dangerous and there were rocks everywhere, so I decided to take it easier. I’m happy with the way the team and I have worked. Now there’s just the final stage to go, and I hope to keep my tenth overall place or maybe even improve on it. ”
Joan Barreda: “I had a ball navigating today. I was out there on my own practically the whole way once I’d got past Faria and Verhoeven a few kilometres into the race. I’m really happy.”
Alessandro Botturi: “Two days to forget about. 130 km into the special test the motor packed up on me. I was really disappointed because it’s really important to make it to the end in a race like this one, even if it wouldn’t make a difference in the overall standings. Still, I’ve made a big step forward compared to last year’s edition, and I have been up there battling amongst the leaders. We’ll have to see what happens next year.”
- KTM Report
Red Bull KTM factory rider Cyril Despres of France got down to the serious business of the Dakar on Friday in the penultimate stage of the 2013 edition managing to extend his overall lead to eight minutes 15 as he chases his fifth Dakar title going into Saturday’s final stage.
After another 440 km of timed special, Despres finished second to Chilean KTM rider Chaleco Lopez, who won the stage five minutes 25 ahead of Despres. This sets the stage for a final dash to the finish between these two KTM riders when they complete the more than 8000 km charge from Lima to Santiago, Chile via Argentina. Despres must go into the final stage bearing in mind that Chaleco is a formidable threat on his home ground. The Chilean rider has a record of a total of six stage victories since the Dakar moved to South America and four of these have been on his home territory. Chaleco will also be spurred on by the hundreds of thousands of local fans who are expected to come out to cheer him and the riders as they head for the finish.
Ruben Faria, the factory support rider is at third overall, trailing the leader by 14.41 but lost some time finishing at fifteenth in Stage 13 and slipped from down second overall. Going into the penultimate stage KTM riders occupy the first five places in the overall standings.
Speaking after the timed special Despres underlined that the Dakar is about strategy and the sport of rally raid. “I felt good on the first section, where there was quite a bit of navigation. Then I saw that I'd got some time back on Chaleco and that he wasn't going to disappear into the distance over 140 km. So I thought I had better be careful with the engine. Since I ate quite a bit of dust in the morning, I preferred to make sure and take it easy. For Ruben, we tried our best… but the navigation wasn't that easy in the morning. There were two or three tricky bits of reading to select the right track.” Despres is a veteran rider who knows that in the Dakar nothing is decided until riders reach the finish line and he was quick to point out that there was still a total of 630 km to travel before Santiago. “It's not going to be a walk in the park,” he said.
Unlucky on Friday was KTM factory rider Kurt Caselli, who stepped in at the last minute to ride for the injured Marc Coma and has delivered a great performance in his rookie Dakar, including two stage wins. On Friday Caselli was reported to have had some technical problems at the 396 km mark and at the time of writing was making his way back to the bivouac. KTM team manager Alex Doringer said the crew would make the necessary repairs on Caselli’s bike to make sure he is able to complete the final stage. He said up to a million people are expected to welcome the riders at the finish line in Santiago, the Chilean capital.
“We’re in good shape heading for Santiago with five KTM riders topping the overall standings and both our teams are very upbeat. Tonight we will be doing a thorough check of the bikes ahead of the last 128 km timed special.”
Saturday riders still have to travel 630 km south along the Pacific coastline and survive 128 km of timed special to complete this edition of the Dakar.
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