SS10 Cordoba – La Rioja 37km liaison – 357 special stage – 242 k liaison
It was another long day for the Team HRC riders in the mountainous region that links Cordoba to La Rioja. Riders tackled first the rocky narrow tracks, like enduro racing, reaching almost 2,000 meters before dropping back down to 357 meters in La Rioja where the thermometer registered 50 degrees. All in all it was a technical and varied stage with twisty tracks mixed with fast hard pack paths.
Starting 5th, Helder Rodrigues rode consistently in the first part of the stage and lost some time in the final section eventually finishing 9th, 09’34” behind stage winner Joan Barreda, who claimed his 4th Dakar stage victory. Argentinian Javier Pizzolito started 27th and fought against the dust, enabling him to recover positions once the track was clear, finishing 14th.
It was a hard day for Johnny Campbell, who rode for 8 hours despite the intense pain due to yesterday’s injuries, complicated by another crash while crossing a river where the ground was particularly slippery.
With 4 stages still to go, the race is still open and Helder Rodrigues gained another position in the overall standings and is now sitting in 6th place, 34’19” behind Cyril Despres who leads the general classification. Also Javier Pizzolito moves one position up, from 12th to 11th and the same for Johnny Campbell from 52nd to 51st.
Helder Rodrigues, SS10 9th +9’34”, 6th overall: “It was a varied stage with some twisty paths in the mountains followed by some fast tracks with several dangers that were not signalled in the road book. I think starting 9th is not bad for tomorrow as it will be a sandy and more technical stage”.
Javier Pizzolito, SS10 14th +12’56”, 11th overall: “I was slowed by the dust till km 100, then I managed to pass a couple of riders and with a clear path I was able to push till the end, gaining some positions”.
Johnny Campbell SS10 21st +23’00”, 51st overall: “I would have liked to be on top form for today because the scenery was great. I liked the nice twisty mountain trail, but I was still suffering from yesterday’s injuries. Things got more complicated when I lost the bike crossing a river bed where the ground was very slippery. I tried to regain some strength in the liaison but riding for 8 hours is very demanding especially when you are not 100% and I had a lot of pain in my ribs”.
SS10 Unofficial results: 1. Barreda (Husqvarna) 2. Despres (KTM) +1’15”, 3. Goncalves (Husqvarna) +2’44”, 4. Pedrero (KTM) +4’27, 5. Caselli (KTM) +6’56….9. Helder Rodrigues Team HRC (Honda) +9’34”, 14. Javier Pizzolito Team HRC (Honda) +12’56”, 21. Johnny Campbell Team HRC (Honda) +23’00
Overall Classification 1. Despres (KTM), 2. Faria (KTM) +1’37”, 3. Lopez (KTM) +13’41, 4.Jakes (KTM) +18’21” 5.Botturi (Husqvarna) +24’25” 6. Helder Rodrigues Team HRC (Honda) +34’19”, 11. Javier Pizzolito Team HRC (Honda) +53’08”, 52. Johnny Campbell Team HRC (Honda) +06h07’41”
Daily Team HRC videos, including action footage, interviews with riders and behind-the-scenes activities are available in a special Dakar 2013 playlist on the Honda Pro Racing YouTube channel. To view, please click this link –http://bit.ly/TKxdxd