- STAGE 9 – IQUIQUE – CALAMA
- 13th January 2015
- Liaison Sections: 88 km
- Racing Stage: 451 Km
- Total Distance: 539 Km
What happened Monday 12th Jan:
Stage 8 would prove to be a disastrous one knocking most of the top bike contenders out of the rally, including Broadlink’s Riaan van Niekerk. Riaan’s race ended at Kilometer 365 after crossing the salt pan earlier in the morning.
Matthias Walkner also experienced electrical problems costing him several hours. Jordi Viladoms was next, his bike coming to a grinding halt. Botturi, Metge and many others did also not make it to the end of the stage. Race leader Joan Barreda also faced electrical issues and lost 3 hours on the leader today, he rode to the finish with Israel and Rodrigues. .
Marc Coma regained the lead ahead of Paulo Gonzalves. Toby Price moved into fourth overall, all the bikes were stripped down and rebuilt.
Another demanding stage of 451 Km’s, saw some more upset as many riders missed waypoint 9, including Ruben Faria, Matthias Walkner, Kuba Pryzgonski and a few others, again mixing up the order of the top ten. Marc coma had a faultless run and finished 3rd on the stage. He said the navigation was tricky and he made a few mistakes but is happy with the day. Toby price is getting the hang of his navigation and is getting more comfortable with finding his way. He also got lost looking for waypoint 9, at the 365 Km mark, losing around 20 minutes on the stage. Toby finished 8th on the stage and retains his fourth overall.
Helder Rodrigues won the stage ahead of Paulo Goncalves who gained 3 minutes 43 on Marc Coma reducing Coma’s lead to just 5 minutes 28.
Matthias Walkner had a small crash and burst his camelback, leaving him a bit dehydrated as he had no water for the last 150Km’s. He felt comfortable on the bike and is getting to grips with the rally style of racing.
What’s happening today at the Dakar 2015 Rally:
It’s time for the second marathon stage! After crossing back into Argentina, the special stage will start on the Salinas Grandes, more than 3600m above sea level. The altitude should curb the competitor’s enthusiasm and cool down their engines. The more technical final phase, will separate the men from the boys, it will be really tough. The liaison section will take them over the de L’ACay pass at an altitude of 4970m.