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Wed 06 February 2013

Dakar 2013: First week HT Honda Rally Raid

On January 2nd the assistance team and the riders meet up in Lima, Peru. Here starts the co-operation with for everybody the same goal; getting the three riders on the podium in  Santiago de Chili. 

On January 4th we start with the administrative and technical controls, before starting for the first stage on the 5th. The organization expects over 1 million people for the start of the Dakar in Lima. The first day will lead the riders with 263 km to Pisco, with only at the end a short special to feel the first sand dunes. Jeremias and Juan Carlos present themselves in the top 20 and Eduardo, who started in his own home town, does a good job with a top 30.

(Jeremias Israël, Chile)

The second stage will directly put the riders to work with a special of 242 km and 100% sand and dunes. Unfortunately Juan Carlos encounters technical problems on this second day and loses his god starting position. Jeremias shows the big guys what he is worth and finishes the special stage as 9th. He for sure likes the dunes and the sand, being a very good motocross rider. Eduardo is a very stable and reliable rider, he is steady on his 62nd position. The third stage again presents the riders stunning dunes with at the end of the special a beautiful track along the seaside. Jeremias runs very strongly and finds himself on a 7th position overall. Juan Carlos is fighting back after a bad start and comes in as 52nd. Eduardo doing good with a 60th position.

(Juan Carlos Salvatierra, Bolivia)

The fourth stage is the first very long stage with a special of 290 km and a liaison of 430 km to get to the bivouac. Still showing sand and little dunes in the first part and rocky tracks in second part. These first days of the Dakar are rarely tough for the riders and a real challenge. Jeremias, who did very well in this special, arriving 7th, has his first disappointment in the rally, because of a penalty of 12 minutes for speeding. This means that he is out of the top 10 unfortunately. Juan Carlos has a very strong day and finishes on a 48th position, just ahead of Eduardo on the 54th position, which is a good result for him. The fifth stage will take the riders to Chili with a short special of 136 km. This special shows a very strong downhill with lots of stones at the end. The riders stay quite stable in the rally, Jeremias 12th, Juan Carlos with a good 33rd position and Eduardo 78th after he fell down and hurts his hand. After a good check-up at the bivouac he decides to start again the next day. 

The sixth stage leads the riders to Calama with a special in two parts. The first part still has a lot of sand and dunes, but the second part, which they enter after a short assistance stop, is very fast. Jeremias mechanic decides to change the tires before this fast track, a pitstop of less than 10 minutes and he is off. Eduardo has a very good first part of the stage, but his hand hurts. In the second part he is unfortunate and hits the ground. On a dangerous point in the stage he does not see a river bed and falls down. He falls again on his hand and now it is really broken. Unfortunately he is not able to continue in the rally. It is part of the rally but a great pity, he stays optimistic and says ‘Till next year’.

(Edurardo Heinrich, Peru)

The seventh stage starts really early in the morning as we will have to pass the Andes and go into Argentina in the direction of Salta. At 4.45 a.m. we leave the bivouac, it is very cold and even more when we get at a height of over 4.000 meter. With a liaison of 400 km in this cold early morning it is quite heavy for the riders. After a fuel stop, where the riders take of their warm clothes, the special of 218 km starts to bring the riders to their marathon bivouac, so with no assistance tonight. Jeremias rides very strongly today and fights his way back into the top 10 with a 6th position. Juan Carlos has also a good rally day and finishes 33rd, giving him a 44th position overall. Both riders are fortunate that night and do not have to do lots of mechanic work on the bikes.

The eight stage leads the riders to Tucaman for the rest day. That’s a good thing for Juan Carlos as he encounters again some technical troubles and will only achieve the bivouac at 2.30 p.m. in the morning. Luckily the mechanics have the whole next day to fix the bike. This day was planned with a very long special of 455 km, but the first part of teh special is cancelled because of the very bad weather in the Mountains. This was a good decision, as also the second part will be very heavy and cold for the riders. Jeremias rides a very strong first part, next to Barreda and Depres, but afterwards some navigation faults are made by a lot of guys and Jeremias finishes 16th, but however due to all these mistakes he comes on a 7th position overall!  A very strong first Dakar until now!

The riders really earned a rest day and are preparing for the second week, off to Santiago the Chili!

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