Day 11 of the Dakar rally had some unpleasant surprises in store for several riders.
Joan Barreda led the day’s survival stage, but lost precious time getting stuck in a water crossing. Despres caught up with him, but then made a navigational error. Barreda and Marc Coma followed, letting Gerard Farres Guell take the lead for a while. He couldn’t keep, it though; Despres managed to work his way back to the front, costing Farres Guell what could have been his best change to win a stage.
The day’s harshest blow came to Paulo Goncalves, though, who suffered a six-hour penalty. Another rider accused Goncalves of receiving outside help getting extricated from a mudhole during Stage Eight, and the Dakar jury agreed, although other riders in the area said they hadn’t seen the alleged incident. This leaves no Husqvarna riders in the top 10, and effectively ends any hope of a decent finish for Goncalves.
Check out the current top five riders – unchanged since yesterday – and the video of Day 11 highlights below.
1. Cyril Despres (KTM)
2. Marc Coma (KTM)
3. Hélder Rodrigues (Yamaha)
4. Jordi Viladoms (KTM)
5. Stefan Svitko (KTM)