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Old 01-03-2013, 01:19 AM   #961
Aussie66
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The not beleiving the hype will result result in some early departures from the race. I am no doom and gloom thinker nor do i derive any pleasure from seeing a crash.

I can underwrite that the current crop of riders are fast, very fast, have experienced it myself. But if the push it or f*ck it mentality prevails then I predict a couple of massive upsets.

Beleive it or not, speed is not a problem when your mind is clear and you are well rested, but if you have missed a couple of nights and you are knackered by temperature, fatigued etc then your judgement is just slower. I am not saying guys like Coma and Cyril cant be beaten, they can but it takes a hell of a lot of experience to do that.

There are a couple of riders close and comparable to C&C but a large crop of young guns who simply lack the experience and routine of those two and when they push the boundaries in a race they have done once before or maybe a rally with half the distance and intensity then its a recipe for DNF's.

just my two cents and hope all reach the finish .
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:55 AM   #962
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It's tough not to ome across as a know it all on the web. I thought I'd throw my unqualified opinion into the mix...the opinion of an observant fan, nothing more

As others have said the competition this year seems to be a step up, meaning there is lots of talent with their eyes on the podium (more so with Coma not racing). It will be very interesting to see how long time, steady, near the front guys like Pal Anders do.

New teams, new bikes and new players. This doesn't usually count for squat at the Dakar

One thing is for sure, this year an attack will need to be done right from SS1 for anyone with sights on the podium. Who can keep that pace without crashing, mechanicals, stay healthy, nav errors, etc ? I'd bet on the folks with experience, not the "this guy is easily as fast as the aliens" crowd. Each year folks boast about some up and comer but each (most) years it's the experienced guys at the top of the leader board when the race finishes.

Take last year, only seconds differentiated the timing of the top guys. So to get their Position (top of podium), means 14 days of keeping a crazy full throttle pace, hitting each WP perfectly, reading roadbook perfectly, etc. That's a lot to ask from someone without experience.....too much to ask I think

The thing is just to crack top 5, heck maybe even top 10 will require a near flawless run given the competition this year, again.....a lot to ask of someone without experience...
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:04 AM   #963
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What about this guy?



I haven't read anything about him this year and all the (reasonable) predictions just mentioned favor that sort of bloke.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:18 AM   #964
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Indeed there are more out there like Pal. For sure a young gun or two will get ahead of him but he is steady , all the way through.

How many years did it take for guys like Helder to come through, Faria, Cuba, Viladoms.? O, Pain and Fretigne have barrels of experience. The above guys didnt all of a sudden burst onto the rally stage with a win or even a podium, a long process to become and stay a top ten contender.

How many people have nearly beaten C&C , look at the Desert Challenge, always people close but never close enough. Sam has been very close, Guagain has been 30 km from the finish in the lead and had bad luck.

Rolling the dice and playing the odds, and the odds become longer if its 15 days.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:19 AM   #965
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To clarify - what I believe is that the regular players - those whom have done Dakar, will be - need to be - pushing from the get go. Those who haven't done Dakar (not just the aussies) WILL be pushing from the get go and while they might not end up in a high finish position (but hopefully will still finish and learn from it) but they will make those who do finish on the podium, really earn it (more than normal).

Last year the pace was on from SS1 and caught Despres out and he openly was surprised by the early speed, but yes, a few of the new fast guys then ended rubber side up and usual programming resumed, but without Coma to push Despres, he will need to even more focussed as a number of guys will step it up.

It should be a great race this year !!
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:24 AM   #966
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CPW, damn we have consensus.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:41 AM   #967
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This dude on the podium.

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Old 01-03-2013, 02:57 AM   #968
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Originally Posted by Brodovitch View Post
This dude on the podium.
Defo money on him being there are thereabouts at the end - he always is!
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:04 AM   #969
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodovitch View Post
This dude on the podium.
He deserves it!
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:05 AM   #970
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CPW, damn we have consensus.
Yes I believe we are all saying the same thing, not even same same but different - it's about how many can survive the full on intensity of speed, navigation, tiredness, fitness and mechanical stability to be there at the end near the top. - not many, whether mechanical or more likely error/penalty (or the other that we don't mention) there will be casualties of sorts as the days go on.

We all now know that the pace is unrelenting at the front, there is none of this "taking it easy" - it just doesn't happen - yes PAU isn't the quickest and he will probably be in the top 10 due to attrition and penalty; but he will still be 1 - 2 hours down on the eventual winner - unless they all blow out or back for one reason or another.

Didn't some Greek bloke come up with a story about that scenario
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:08 AM   #971
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My uneducated prediction is , 1 Despres, 2 Francisco Lopez, 3 Viladoms.

I think Helder will be up there all the way until the day before, or after the rest day, and then his bike will suffer explosively from vapor lock.

Fastest Rookie to Fish (so hard to pick I just went with my favorite rider instead of anything that would make sense), and Patronelly in the quads (not going out on a limb there.

I'm hoping the Aussie rookie Paul Smith can get a couple of top ten stage placings and finish up the order in the quads (I'd like to say top 10, but I don't want to get to ambitious)...

So there are my bets locked in... Now to prove how little I know.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:10 AM   #972
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For what it's worth mine are Despres, Helder and then Barreda.

But a lot of "fun" along the way!

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Old 01-03-2013, 03:19 AM   #973
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Cyril on top,

Kuba
Helder
Chaleco
Barreda.

Thats my top 5.

Verhoeven
Viladoms
PAU

Top 10-30
Faria
Farres
West
Smith
Fish
Fagotter

Quads :

1) Seb Husseini. all the way. (absolutely mental speed).
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:39 AM   #974
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Despres
Barreda
Helder
Chaleco
___

Viladoms
Pedrero
Goncalves
PAU
Faria
____

Pizzolito
Verhoeven
Botturi
Fish
Svitko
Pain
Kuba
Casteu
Duclos
_____

That's not a prediction list, just my interpretation of the three groups (or tiers) of ridersI can see so far in regards to relative speed/ability amongst themselves.

However. I do feel that because the pretenders to the throne will smell blood regarding Coma's absence and Cyril's added pressureof carrying the orange colours on his own, we might see some pretty spectacular (big name) withdrawals by Stage 4 or 5. Just a hunch. So my money is on older, more experienced riders (again) this year for the top ten. There are some frequently overlooked names on the above list like Verhoeven, Duclos, Casteu who should not be counted out...
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:18 AM   #975
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Fascinating discussion over the past few pages guys, thanks. To me Duplo is the clear favourite but after that it becomes almost impossible to predict. There are so many with potential to get on the podium IF everything falls into place for them but equally there's so much to go wrong. I'm glad PAU finally got a mention, I was beginning to wonder if I'd only dreamed that he was running!
It's good to see that the Aussie New Wave are rated so highly by those in the know and surely there must be a chance of a good stage result at least but podium? Not so sure?
While we're banging nationalistic gongs a little I'll mention Stan Watts. I was a little surprised he didn't progress further up the rankings last year and remember he was denied a top 20 finish a couple of years ago by a dodgy penalty. He has the equipment, experience and speed to potentially make the top 20 IMHO.
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