The 10th stage of the 2010 Dakar in Chile saw a fright for Canadian Patrick Trahan on Tuesday, although he recovered. He said, "I crashed hard, riding like a beginner. In a corner two bikes and a quad went straight on and I followed them. I fell off the bike, but it had no damage. I lost my rhythm, and started doing things wrong. I tried to get the bike out of the rocks by hand, and fell. The bike landed on a rock which caused the tank to leak … I am unhappy with today, and I hope it will get better tomorrow."
He finished 74th on the day, dropping him a spot to 60th overall, with 93 riders still going with four days left.
Spaniard Marc Coma was again fastest on the day, but with the big penalties he’s been hit with is still well down, in 17th on his Red Bull KTM. KTM team-mate Cyril Despres continues to stay well in front of the field, saying, "Today, we could have easily lost first place in the rally, so I protected my lead. That said, I wasn’t just taking it easy either. There were lots of slippery parts, bends with big drops on one side as well as stones on the tracks. For me, there was no need to go on all-out attack. We’re now on a different type of terrain with hard tracks that we have to adapt to. It’s completely different from the last three days. It’s a good mix."
There continues to be a dogfight for second and third places, with Norway’s Pal anders Ullevalseter (KTM 690), Chilean Francisco Lopez Contardo (Aprilia 450), and Portuguese Helder Rodriguez (Yamaha 450) all within three minutes. They’re half an hour ahead of the next rider.
Stage 11 is relatively short, about 435 km with only a 220 km special section. It’s over fast rocky terrain, mostly on existing tracks, at altitudes of up to 3,500 metres. Steep downhills coming out of the Andes into Argentina are likely to play havoc with brakes.