After Stage 8 of the Dakar, Montreal’s Patrick Trahan has moved up to 58th overall. He’s adopted a quick but careful strategy; no stops for any reason, keep up a decent speed. He still had three ‘moments’ in the rocky section, catching stones with his front wheel. The rim had several dents afterwards.
"It was like day three, I had trouble with the fuel getting hot in the first part of the stage. At the tankpost I filled up again and that helped. In the dunes I got stuck twice, which isn’t my style. No problems or anything, but it was not necessary. Despite the long day I don’t feel tired at all, which is a good sign."
Cyril Despres is still leading overall, with 33 minutes in hand heading into Monday’s ninth stage. There’s a dogfight behind him, though, with second through sixth in the same minute. Norway’s Pal Anders Ullevalseter (KTM 690) was second after Stage 8, with Chile’s Francisco Lopez Contardo (Aprilia) third, Portugal’s Helder Rodriguez (Yamaha) next, then France’s Alain Duclos (KTM 690) and France’s David Frétigné (Yamaha).
KTM’s Marc Coma (Spain) has dropped down to 19th and out of contention after another penalty, this one a whopping six-hour hit for illegally changing a tire in Stage 7.
Trahan started the Stage 9 route today in 53rd position.