January 7, 2005 at 8:27 pm #9327GixParticipant
France’s David Frétigné (Yamaha WR450F – Yamaha MF Gauloises Ipone) put in a strong performance in the seventh stage, winning the longest special of the 2005 Dakar between Zouérat and Tichit. Frétigné’s third win, after Barcelona and Grenada, sees him moving to sixth overall. The gap between him and Marc Coma, the new leader in provisional standings is now 8’09.
190 bikes left in Zouérat for 669 km, and no less than 660 km of special in the first ‘marathon’ stage of the Dakar. Because of the extremely poor visibility conditions, keeping nine helicopters grounded, the organization decided to cut down on the length of the stage. Some learn quicker than others and this goes certainly for the 33-year-old Frétigné in what is only his second Dakar participation. Until now David was mostly known for his dominance in the short super-specials, but in the longest special of the 2005 Dakar he confirmed his stunt from last year in Ayoun-el-Atrous. Frétigné rode a smart and calculated race, leaving the lead in the first half of the race to newcomer Kellon Walch. However the young American could not keep this elevated rhythm during the second half finishing 20 minutes
behind Frétigné. The last 263kms, being extremely technical, took even the best riders more than 4 hours. The soft sand of Mauritania was an ideal playground for David Frétigné finishing with a 3’31 advantage on Coma and 5’22 on Despres.
The Spaniard Coma takes the leadership in the overall with only sixteen seconds on Despres. Halfway through the Dakar rally, the bike event is a real thriller with the first six riders (Coma, Despres, Caldecott, Cox, Meoni and Frétigné) all very close.
“Today was really crazy”, said Frétigné after a 600 exhausting kilometers, “to end the day winning was something I did not even dare to dream. “The stage was long and physically demanding. Until 400 km we were close together with seven riders. We did 300 km together, and when I stopped for fuel I saw that Meoni and Depres were still there. I quickly calculated how long I had started after them and I then realized that I had not lost a lot of time on them. I immediately started attacking after that on a camel track of 100 kilometers. I did the last 50 kilometers out of breath just pushing myself to finish. I gave it everything I had and in the end I took more than 4 minutes on Coma. This was the longest stage of the rally and I’m very happy that I won it. My bike behaved perfectly and I did and extensive check of
all the parts in the bivouac but everything is fine.”
Because of the extreme sandstorm in the seventh stage Zouerat-Tichit), and many participants arriving in the bivouac extremely late, the organizers decided to cancel the specials of the Tichit-Tidjikja stage. On Friday morning 10 o’ clock only 96 bikes, 59 cars and 27 trucks left for Tichit.
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January 7, 2005 at 9:11 pm #21474Wild01Participant
What happened to the Aussie lad that was in second place a couple of days ago??? I know he was a privateer so he ain’t got the support like the big sponcers but he was doing really well!
Wilba Wild 01
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