Copiapo > Copiapo
Today’s stage is a 419km loop starting and finishing in Copiapo, running through the Atacama desert. It starts with a 154km road section before the competitors hit the soft sand of the desert, with a brief untimed neutralised section roughly halfway through before hitting the dunes.
Tensions are rising for some! (Note – the sound mix is pretty bad here at times, the overly-dramatic music is louder than the guy talking).
Stage 7 Summary:
Incredible footage, some of those dunes are huge!
Today – Bikes
1. Coma (KTM)
2. Despres (KTM) +2m03s
3. Goncalves (Husqvarna) +2m49s
4. Rodrigues (Yamaha) +3m46s
5. Farres Guell (KTM) +6m50s
Overall – Bikes
1. Despres (KTM)
2. Coma (KTM) +7m48s
3. Rodrigues (Yamaha) +49m39s
4. Goncalves (Husqvarna) +55m33s
5. Casteu (Yamaha) +1h05m38s
Coma took a couple of minutes out of the lead. Goncalves is up a position and Casteu enters the top five with Lopez having dropped to 9th.
Today – Cars
1. Al-Attiyah (Hummer)
2. Gordon (Hummer) +7m30s
3. Peterhansel (MINI) +7m3s
4. Holowczyc (MINI) +14m572s
5. Roma (MINI) +15m191s
A 1-2 for the Hummers, and Al-Attiyah was on a real charge! A stage win by over seven minutes.
Overall – Cars
1. Peterhansel (MINI)
2. Holowczyc (MINI) +11m22s
3. Gordon (Hummer) +13m09s
4. Roma (MINI) +18m05s
5. De Villiers (Toyota) +34m07s
Peterhansel put 6 minutes on Holowczyc today, more than doubling his lead. Gordon gained a small amount of time to the rally leader and moved up to 3rd. Al-Attiyah lies 6th at +42m54s.
In the meantime, the quads are led by Alejandro Patronelli by about an hour, his brother is 3rd sandwiching Maffei.
The trucks are led by De Rooy’s Iveco, who is ahead of the Tatra of Loprais by 17 minutes with De Rooy’s teammate Stacey in 3rd before a trio of Kamaz machines.
The following day was Sunday January 8th, the Rest Day. The rally stays in the Copiaco bivouac to allow everyone to recover from the opening week’s exertions (and to allow late arrivals stuck in the sand on Stage 6 a chance to get in) before hitting the challenges of the rest of Chile and the new stages of Peru. I’ll jump straight into Monday’s Stage 8 with my next post.