Stage 11 good for Dakar competitor


With only three days left, Canadian Patrick Trahan is still looking good for a finish of the 2010 Dakar, in 60th place out of 92 bikes still running. And he had a good time in the highly technical Stage 11 down the east side of the Andes: "I love stages like this! Not too fast, a lot of difficult stuff," he said later. "I could overtake 10 other riders easily but I held back when I remembered the finish. I fell only once without damage; the bike was in perfect shape today!"

We’ve finally found out what happened to the last Canadian we didn’t know about, Dirk Kessler, who was out at Stage 4. He had a fall and badly twisted his knee, but managed to get to the next checkpoint by duct-taping his tire pump to his leg as a splint! And Andrew Scott, although he was out on time-keeping on Day 5, has continued riding for the fun of it, as well as to serve as crew to other riders, and has comfortably completed Stage 11.

Some good news also from the hospital to which Italian rider Luca Manca was taken after suffering a severe head injury: he’s awake, conscious, and breathing on his own, and now looks as though he’ll recover.

On the overall standings after Stage 11, KTM’s Cyril Despres still has a huge lead of an hour and 20 minutes, this time over Francisco Lopez Contardo (Aprilia) who’s edged into second in front of Norwegian Pal anders Ullevalseter (KTM) by virtue of a victory on the day, although they are exactly equal on overall times.

The day’s stage victory went to BMW for the first time, with Dutchman Frans Verhoeven giving the Munich-based brand its first triumph on the Dakar since 2001.

Stage 12 is the longest stage of the rally at 796 km with a special stage of 476 km. The first part is through deeply fissured and rocky canyon country, while the last half is through heavy high-speed sand dunes with many jumps expected to strain both mechanical and physical preparation.


  1. Stagman, it seems there’s a pretty good chance the thing is going back to Africa next year, through Tunisia and Egypt. So the logo is safe … Maybe.

  2. So how long do you think it’ll be before they change the name of the race and ditch the Bedouin logo? Seems kinda silly at this point.

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