When you race over rough terrain, it’s important to keep your eyes on the sky as well. For the past few days, it’s been raining cats and dogs in Fiambalá, Argentina so The Dakar Rally officials decided to shorten the Bike route by 30km. American rider Kurt Caselli more than earned his nickname ‘Special K’ as he won the stage. Second place went to Portugal’s Paulo Gonçalves and the overall leader, Cyril Despres came in third. Ruben Faria and Francisco ‘Chaleco’ López still hold their second and third place spots on the overall list.
The Car and Truck runs were abandoned altogether but not before a blessed few managed to reach Check Point 1. Therefore, Robby Gordon (USA) who arrived first was declared the stage winner. His Speed Energy Racing Hummer took a tumble onto its hood during the first stage; but he’s done fought for seven stage finishes in the top five drivers. This is quite an accomplishment for the California native. He was followed by Ronan Chabot (FRA) and Lucio Ezequiel Álvarez (ARG). There’s almost a half-hour time difference between overall leader, France’s Stéphane Peterhansel and the rest of the pack. So much so that Red Bull sponsored Giniel De Villiers in a Toyota Hi-Lux Pick-up has to do his upmost to keep Peterhansel’s team mates, Russia’s Leonid Novistkiy and Spain’s Joan ‘Nani’ Roma from overtaking him. Otherwise the Car Division could fall to a Monster Energy X-Raid Team podium sweep.
The Truck stage winner was Dutchman Gerard De Rooy. After his mechanical problems in Stage 9, who would have imagined he’d be successful once again? Then Czech Ales Loprais came along and finally KAMAZ Master Team’s Eduard Nikolaev, who still has the overall lead. Martin Kolomy of the Czech Team Tatra lost his second place position to Nikolaev’s team mate, Ayrat Mardeev; and had better look out as Andrey Karginov will push to take third place for KAMAZ. Yet still, De Rooy lurks in fifth place looking for any opportunity to snatch victory from the Russians.
If you want to catch up on the action, go to Red Bull’s Dakar 2013 web page or www.Dakar.com. Instant updates download directly to your iPhone via the official Dakar Rally 2013 app and US fans can see highlights on The Dakar Rally every morning at 2:00 am (EST) on the NBC Sports Network. Yahoo Sports has up-to-date stage and overall results. However, if you prefer to get your news from social media, then you can follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Do you have a favorite competitor in ‘The original Amazing Race’?