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Farrés presses on with the arrival of altitude to Dakar

  • He scales one position in the top 10 by finishing seventh in the race’s first day in the mountains.
  • Mechanical issues prove costly for Cervantes while Ramos retires.

January 4th 2017

San Salvador de Jujuy (Argentina). From the desert to the mountains, a long stage of 780 kilometres put the riders to the test already in the third day, with a very demanding stage in multiple aspects, such as navigation, mountainous terrain, physicality and low visibility.

Under these circumstances, Gerard Farrés’ experience and maturity were key in holding on to the top positions of the rankings. The HIMOINSA Racing Team rider managed to make the most of a very complicated special and finished the day with a great comeback which lifted him to the seventh position.

Things did not go so great for Iván Cervantes, who had a technical probem slowing him down for most of the day. Finally, the five time enduro World Champion crossed the finish line having lost an hour to the race leader.

Unfortunately for the team, another of the main characters of the day was Antonio Ramos, who saw his chances of finishing the race vanish after having a bike malfunction in the first kilometres of yesterday’s special. Despite working on the bike by himself all night, it was impossible for him to repair the bike and was forced to retire.

Gerard Farrés: 8th (+20.43)

“One of my clearly progressive days, in which I felt more and more comfortable with my bike and the terrain. It was tough, especially climbing so much and finding the rain, but past the halfway point of the stage, I felt good and decided to set a strong pace, which is when I made the comeback. I am happy with my speed and staying close to the head of the race. This year regularity could be more important than ever and that is just what we achieved today.

Iván Cervantes: 33rd (+1.00.13)

“Too much of a complicated day for this early stage of the race. A technical issue slowed me down for almost the entirety of the stage and I lost time in every checkpoint. Luckily, I managed to keep the time loss as low as possible. Now it’s time to focus on the following stages, on which it will be hard to make up time on the front runners.”

Antonio Ramos: Withdrawal. “It was very disappointing to be forced to leave Dakar so early after all the work and ambition I have put in, but no matter what I tried, I couldn’t find a solution for the problem. I really want to thank the HIMOINSA Racing Team for giving me this oportunity which bad luck has taken away from me, but this is Dakar and we have known each other for a while”.

Rankings: Stage 3 – Overall (provisional*)

  • Gerard Farrés (+20.43)
  • Antonio Gimeno (+58.07)
  • Iván Cervantes (+1.00.13)
  • 34th Dani Oliveras (+1.05.15)

Overall rankings (provisional*)

  • Gerard Farrés (+22.00)
  • Iván Cervantes (+1.04.50)
  • Antonio Gimeno (+1.12.05)
  • 36th Dani Oliveras (+02.30)
  • Antonio Ramos (withdrawal)

*Awaiting Rosa Romero’s arrival to the finish line.

Next stage: San Salvador de Jujuy – Tupiza (Special: 416 km – Total: 512 km)

The challenge of altitude kicks into Dakar 2017 with the crossing of the border between Argentina and Bolivia. Riders and teams will now operate above 3.500 metres and through a great variety of terrain in a stage which will be timed throughout 80% of its full length. Special attention will be paid to the two dune sections which riders will have to tackle in the final part of the special.