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Old 01-05-2014, 02:45 AM   #8
Flood OP
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Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Austria
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Originally Posted by doyle View Post
My little Stage 1 preview:

Dakar 2014 Stage 1, What to Expect

It is with a great degree of expectation that we finally find ourselves at the start of another Dakar Rally. Stage 1 begins with a long, 405 kilometer liaison that the riders are projected to cover in about six hours. Bearing the number one plate, Cyril Despres leads the pack from the Bivouac in Rosario, Argentina at a bleary eyed 4:20 am local time for the slog to the start of the 180 kilometer special stage.

In usual, early stage Argentina fashion and as suggested by the stage profile below, gravel/dirt roads look to be the only option on the menu. Leading the pack is rarely an ideal position, but Argentina can often mean singular roads with little passing opportunities and if the area remains dry, the dust he kicks up may be Despresí best friend.

Usual Dakar start times are in play, Cyril leads followed by KTMís Marc Coma, and then Hondaís Joan Barreda each two minutes apart for the first ten starters after which the interval drops to each minute and then eventually riders further back in the pack start in tandem, two at a time.

What is different this edition is the newness of many situations. New bikes at Honda and KTM, and a new team in Yamaha for the reining Dakar champion, Cyril Despres. Each will want to stamp their mark on the rally and perhaps more importantly, strike some fear into the hearts of their competitors.

Look for a quick pace on stage 1, perhaps not a 100% pace, but at least a 95% pace as the top guys look to either hold on to past glory, or knock the kings off their thrones.

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