Dakar finish in sight


With only one day left in the 2010 Dakar Rally, Patrick Trahan (54th overall out of 88 bikes still in the running) is at the brink of his first Dakar finish, after two earlier attempts. Stage 13 was a relatively easy run; Trahan’s Honda Europe team-mate Gerben Vruggink said, "It started with dust and difficult terrain. Then into the dunes, which at first were not that easy but later on very beautiful.

"After the dunes we rode on a hard very fast track, for quite some time. After the special it turned out the connection was even more difficult! I had hoped to get a pizza somewhere, but no luck. Back on the road it was just a long straight line. No villages, no gas stations."

Trahan said, "I felt at home in the dunes this morning. A lot of riders got stuck. … On the fast track I took it easy. The bike was a bit wobbly there. Even the idea of crashing now got me stressed up. After the special we had the connection, which was dangerous with cars overtaking us without using the sentinel."

The day’s section victory went to Norwegian KTM rider Pal Anders Ullevalseter, ahead of overall leader Cyril Despres and Spanish rider Marc Coma, both also on KTMs. That leaves Despres pretty much unassailable for victory with more than an hour’s lead over Ullevalseter going into the final day, but second and third are still up for grabs.

Ullevalseter is only four minutes ahead of Chile’s Francisco Lopez Contardo (Aprilia), who in turn is 12 minutes ahead of Portugal’s Helder Rodriguez on a Yamaha.

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