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A highly demanded podium

· Twelve seconds are currently separating Gerard Farrés from third place in Buenos Aires.

· Dakar 2017 shows no mercy to Iván Cervantes, who withdraws due to mechanical issues in the penultimate stage.

January 13th, 2017 – Río Cuarto (Argentina). The toughest race in the world, wandering across a whole continent covering six thousand kilometres in two weeks and overcoming all sorts of physical and climatological obstacles, could be decided in the final straight. The final stage, which is usually reserved as a tribute to the heroic survivors of Dakar, will still have undecided positions at the front of the race. The times are really tight and regarding the bikes, podium contenders will have to fight to the finish line.

An easy 64 kilometre long special with barely any complications will be the deciding factor between Walkner, Van Beveren and Gerard Farrés, the three contenders to stand beside Sam Sunderland on the podium in Buenos Aires. The Himoinsa Racing Team leader made his start from San Juan in third position, but in a hard fight against the clock, and despite riding a great stage (finishing fourth), he could not prevent French Van beveren from gaining back the three minutes which kept them apart at the start. Their pace across the fast tracks of the Cordoba province was so fast that they even significantly reduced their gap to the second rider in the overall, Mattias Walkner. Farrés, despite being set back to the fourth position, was satisfied with the job done: “It was a very fast stage, with no time to rest and on the gas the whole time; I did everything I could and it still was not enough. We thought by this point it would be all decided, but we were wrong, tomorrow we will have to keep fighting until the last moment, it won’t be easy but we will give it our best shot.” In the final special, he will attempt to claw back the twelve seconds to Van Beveren, or even the four minutes and thirteen seconds separating him from second placed Walkner.

Farrés was also unhappy when he was told about his teammate Iván Cervantes’ withdrawal. Our country’s best enduro rider ever saw his race fall to pieces in a devastating way, in the penultimate stage and right after proving that he can be among the best in raids. Cervantes was again fighting at the top, he was sixth and only two minutes behind the leader, when he crashed and unfortunately destroyed one of his KTM’s wheels. Antonio Gimeno came to his rescue, but this only confirmed that the reparation was not possible and the race was over for “Torito”. Quintanilla, Brabec, De Soultrait… yet another front runner has to withdraw in the rally’s last moments.

Gimeno and Oliveras, despite losing some time to help their teammate, pushed on in their attempt to reach the Buenos Aires finish line among the 25 best. And of course, let’s not forget about the team’s most corageous component, Rosa Romero, who is about to set a new accomplishment by completing a new edition of this race of super athletes. The glory of the podium is waiting for all of them in Buenos aires, although it didn’t come easily.

STAGE

4th Farrés 6:04 behind

25th Oliveras 32:59 behind

30th Gimeno 39:09 behind

OVERALL

4th Farrés 37:22 behind

19th Oliveras 3:50:09 behind

2nd Gimeno 4:14:48 behind