Canadian Patrick Trahan is set to become only the fourth Canadian in history to complete the Dakar Rally, but with now only 3 stages left he’s been reminded that there’s still a lot that could happen to deny his quest. We mentioned yesterday that Trahan said he was feeling strong, perhaps a little to strong, as a post on his blog today indicates he went into a corner too hot during the tenth stage and ended up off the trail in the rocks. After picking himself up and fixing his gas tank, he calmed himself down to carefully finish the day. No word yet of any mishaps during today’s stage 11, but the Honda rider finished in 61st position and remains 60th overall.
Speaking of unrealized goals, BC native Don Hatton, who was forced to withdraw after stage 3, posted an audio clip on his blog giving an insightful and emotional summary of his 2010 Dakar experience. Give it a listen below.
As for the top contenders, Dutchman Frans Verhoeven (BMW) gave German marque its first triumph on the Dakar since 2001, today. With a time of 2.44:50, Verhoeven, who picked up the 3rd victory of his career on the event, beat American Jonah Street (KTM) by 3 seconds and Franco-Malian Alain Duclos (KTM) by 1’25″. No change however in the overall standings, as Frenchman Cyril Despres (KTM) serenely contemplates the other riders from a lead that stands at 1.20:54 over Pal Anders Ullevalseter (KTM). The Norwegian was the biggest winner of the 11th stage, widening the gap over his rivals for the runner-up position and now boasting a lead of 7’01″ over Chilean Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez Contardo (Aprilia) and 9’41″ over Portugal’s Helder Rodrigues (Yamaha).
Good news about Luca Manca’s condition. The Italian rider who left the rally in stage 6 with serious head injuries awoke from a coma in hospital today and though he can’t yet speak due to intubation, according to the rally’s medical director, he’s able to answer questions through gestures and recognizes his friends and loved ones.
2010 Dakar Rally Stage 11 Results
1. VERHOEVEN (NLD) BMW 02:44:50
2. STREET (USA) KTM 02:44:53 00:00:03
3. DUCLOS (FRA) KTM 02:46:15 00:01:25
4. ULLEVALSETER (NOR) KTM 02:47:16 00:02:26
5. LOPEZ CONTARDO (CHL) APRILIA 02:48:38 00:03:48
6. FRETIGNE (FRA) YAMAHA 02:48:39 00:03:49
7. DESPRES (FRA) KTM 02:49:11 00:04:21
8. PEDRERO GARCIA (ESP) KTM 02:49:49 00:04:59
9. COMA (ESP) KTM 02:49:58 00:05:08
10. PRZYGONSKI (POL) KTM 02:50:13 00:05:23
2010 Dakar Rally Overall Standings
1. DESPRES (FRA) KTM 42:05:10
2. ULLEVALSETER (NOR) KTM 43:26:04 01:20:54
3. LOPEZ CONTARDO (CHL) APRILIA 43:28:44 01:23:34
4. RODRIGUES (PRT) YAMAHA 43:35:45 01:30:35
5. DUCLOS (FRA) KTM 43:59:49 01:54:39
6. FRETIGNE (FRA) YAMAHA 44:06:07 02:00:57
7. STREET (USA) KTM 44:41:05 02:35:55
8. PAIN (FRA) YAMAHA 44:54:17 02:49:07
9. PRZYGONSKI (POL) KTM 45:17:28 03:12:18
10. PEDRERO GARCIA (ESP) KTM 45:17:54 03:12:4