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DANI OLIVERAS:  “As soon as the terrain allowed it, I attacked”

  • In his fourth Dakar appearance, Dani Oliveras has turned into the race’s revelation, standing up to the favorites’ speed and skill. After finishing two stages within the Top 10 as the best Spaniard, the HIMOINSA Team rider reflects on his performance so far, and gets ready for the racing still to come.

January 12th, 2018

Question: We are barely halfway through the rally and the media already considers you the revelation of this Dakar. What are the reasons behind this enormous improvement?

Dani Oliveras (@danioliveras_21): “This year we have been able to rack up many kilometers of training in Morocco with the whole team and, although the conditions here are very different, I think this has helped us gain a lot of confidence on the bike in all aspects: pace, navigation, reliability, performance, etc.”

Question: What has been your strong point in these past stages?

Dani Oliveras (@danioliveras_21): “In the sand it was difficult to push the pace because the dunes were very technical. I was not familiar with Peru’s terrain and I did not know what to expect. If you add the huge amount of crashes and people hurting themselves, in the end, in the difficult situations in the dunes the priority is always to avoid making any mistakes, getting the navigation right and pushing where the terrain allowed it. All this I think has been what has helped me achieve these good results.”

Question: Yesterday you got your best result in the Dakar (fifth) How did you do it?

Dani Oliveras (@danioliveras_21): “Confidence is again crucial in this regard. When you hesitate, you lose time. I am very comfortable with the bike and as soon as the terrain became a bit favorable I gave it my all. But these fast stages also have their complications, because there is still the risk of getting badly hurt at this speed, so you have to be very focused on the small details, recalibrate the roadbook correctly, braking and turning with much more finesse. In short, when everything gets faster you also have to be much more attentive. At the finish, although I had to slow down in the last 20 kilometers because it was pouring with rain, I knew I had done well, although I did not expect to be in fifth (laughs).”

Question: You have a reputation of being skilled at setting up your bike. Do you think that has also helped you to make this leap?

Dani Oliveras (@danioliveras_21): “I am a rider who has always done all the mechanics to my bikes and I am very meticulous in this regard. This also makes me very sensitive and I can tell very quickly when something is not right. The good thing is that knowing the bike well, I can find solutions to many problems quickly and it is clear that this has been very useful, like a few days ago, in stage 5, when I had the oil leak which I detected and fixed in the span of a single dune. All this also makes a difference in the calmness and confidence of which I spoke before and helps you ride freely and much better.”

Question: How do you see yourself now that the fast stages are here?

Dani Oliveras (@danioliveras_21): “This year we also bring tons of technical work in terms of the bike’s electronics and we have full confidence that the bike will perform well. This performance is going to be key for us to be able to keep up with the pace of the factory bikes from now on, where it will be more about speed and less about navigation.”

Question: What can we expect from you in the remaining stages?

Dani Oliveras (@danioliveras_21): “There is still so much Dakar ahead of us. When we reach the area of Chilecito and Fiambalá, in Argentina, everything will likely complicate again due to the navigation as well as the heat and the accumulated fatigue from so many days and kilometers. I think a lot can happen there and it will be very important to keep a cool head in those days when everything is going to be at stake.”

 General Classification after 6 stages

1st K. Benavides (16: 33.20)

2nd A. Van Beveren (+01.57)

3rd M. Walkner (+03: 50)

9th Gerard Farrés (+18.08)

15th Dani Oliveras (+1: 06.05)

29th Marc Solà (+2: 24.04)

37th Iván Cervantes (+2: 59.33)

70th Rose Romero (+8: 35.27)

 

Next stage: La Paz – Uyuni