19 Януари 2004 - 17:09
Mitsubishi show their potential
First stage win for Colin McRae (Dakar 2004 - Leg 13)
The three Nissan pickups finished today's stage in first, second and third places! Colin McRae takes his first stage win, followed by De Villiers and Vatanen.
Jutta Kleinschmidt is fourth, ahead of Hiroshi Masuoka in fifth position and Stephane Peterhansel in sixth place.
Nissan's performance doesn't change much in the overall results. Stephane Peterhansel loses only two minutes today and remains in the lead by more than an hour over his Mitsubishi teammate Masuoka.
David Fretigne was the fastest motorcycle rider in today's stage. The Yamaha rider finished 3'41" in front of Richard Sainct while race leader Nani Roma fell and lost a few minutes when he tried to avoid hitting a cow!
Because of Roma's incident, Sainct reduces the overall gap separating him from the leader to 7'25".
Cyril Despres finishes the day in fifth place but remains in third position in the general standings, 55 seconds ahead of Alfie Cox in fourth position.
CAPSIS International [14/01/04 - 17:17]
Another stage win for Alphand (Dakar 2004 - Leg 14)
Luc Alphand won his second stage in this year's edition of the Dakar. The BMW X5 driver finished more than 14 minutes in front of Nissan driver Colin McRae in second position.
Race leader Stephane Peterhansel takes third place but remains cautious to avoid taking unnecessary risks. The Mitsubishi driver is still more than an hour ahead of his teammate Masuoka, who is in second position.
Jean-Louis Schlesser remains in third place overall after finishing today's stage in fourth position. The Frenchman did a good job despite the fact that the soft sand seen today might be more suited to the 4x4's than his Ford Buggy.
One major retirement is Ari Vatanen's Nissan pickup. The Finn had an accident and the damage to his Nissan could not be repaired.
Cyril Despres was on the attack, winning the stage in the motorcycle category. The Frenchman finished 1'23" ahead of Alfie Cox in second position.
Race leader Nani Roma is third today, followed by his main rival Richard Sainct, who is now 9'40" behind Roma in the general standings.
"It was a difficult day," said Roma. "I did a mistake around 30 km from CP1. However, I stayed calm when I was many minutes behind Richard [Sainct]. I increased my rhythm and gained three minutes on him, which is always helpful in the Dakar."
David Fretigne took fifth place in stage 14 and climbs to eighth position in the overall results.
CAPSIS International [15/01/04 - 18:33]
Stage win for Masuoka (Dakar 2004 - Leg 15)
Without taking unnecessary risks, both Mitsubishi drivers were able to dominate the day's stage, finishing in the first two places, more than 8 minutes in front of the other competitors.
This time Masuoka takes the stage win of Peterhansel. The gap between the two men falls slightly under one hour in the overall results but that is not enough to worry race leader Stephane Peterhansel.
Giniel De Villiers is third today and moves up to eighth position in the general standings. Jutta Kleinschmidt takes fourth place, followed by Jean- Louis Schlesser and Andrea Mayer.
In the motorcycle category, Fabrizio Meoni is first despite his knee injury. The KTM rider really enjoyed today's stage. "I didn't go flat out but almost... it's like a motocross track, with long, fast turns. It was great. I was happy to know that I finished first, that I didn't attack for nothing!"
Richard Sainct and Nani Roma are still in a battle for the lead. This time Sainct is second, just in front of Roma and reduces the overall gap to 7'07". The others are more than 46 minutes behind...
Alfie Cox takes fourth position in this stage and gets closer to third place overall held by Cyril Despres, who was fifth today. The two men are now only 43 seconds away from each other in the general standings.
David Fretigne climbs another position in the overall results. The Yamaha rider is now seventh but remains more than 18 minutes behind Meoni in sixth position.
CAPSIS International [16/01/04 - 18:14]