Originally Posted by Brodovitch
Rider quotes on dakar.com
Consistency is the key
The day started with Cyril (Despres) opening the road. I thought I could catch him easily but he was quick. In the end, I caught up with him and we finished together. It was a lively stage and even fun before the refuelling point; it was a rocky, narrow track, like in endurance racing and very varied in the end. We enjoyed ourselves. I'm showing that I'm there every day and it's always good for experience. It's a shame I had problems with the bike at the start of the rally, otherwise I would have been at the front. Most importantly, I've never made any navigation mistakes. I've always been out in front at a good pace. I've been doing well on several stages, so I'll have to carry on like that. I believe that Marc (Coma), Cyril and myself are really quick riders. Of course there are other riders who are in with a shout, but they are often ahead due to racing circumstances: when there's a breakdown or a mistake. However, when you have to go flat out, you can see the difference. All in all, on this rally consistency is the key. I had a problem one day and that was it for me; but since then, everything is fine.
Gaining in confidence and letting the racing do the talking
It's a fairly quick for a cruising pace, more like a speed boat. With a motivated Joan Barreda on my tail, you can't slow down. I managed to keep the pace. The bike again worked well and suffered less than yesterday. It's always nice to speed along over 360 kilometres without scaring myself. I'm in good form. The selective side is what makes the Dakar different and stand out in comparison to all the other rallies. There are physically tough special stages and a type of natural selection in relation to the level to which the machines and riders are prepared. Picking up seconds in the general standings is not the most important thing. What matters is making statements, making a difference, gaining in confidence and letting the racing do the talking. As a result, the general standings reflect that on paper in the evening.
I'm going to try to win a stage
After the first week when I had mechanical problems and lost time on navigation, I set off in a good position today. Starting in the first ten, there is a lot less dust and it's more comfortable. I rode very fast and soon caught up with Ruben. It wasn't easy to overtake him because there was still a lot of dust. But I finished the day on the podium for the stage, so it's a very good day, all the more so since Joan won the stage, meaning there are two Husqvarna riders in the top three – it's very good. My personal objective was to finish on the podium, but with the electrical problems that I had, it won't be possible anymore. So, I'm going to try to win a stage. It won't be easy, but I'm going to try.