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Stage 9: Laia Sanz overcomes the loss of her team mate with a super run

The Gas Gas rider finished in 40th place to confirm her best classification in the Dakar Rally 2012. The only girl among the bikers, Laia faces the rest of the race without her backup and she is full of confidence in her own abilities.
Laia Sanz has recovered well from the hard blow suffered by the Gas Gas team yesterday, when Marc Guasch had to quit the Dakar Rally due to a heavy fall which caused him several broken ribs, a perforated lung and damage to the spleen, among other injuries. The Dakar women’s champion had no alternative than to pluck up courage, set aside her worry about her team mate and face the ninth stage of the rally with steadfastness.

In front of her were 556 kilometres (126 of them cancelled) and, for the first time since the rally began, the only woman still in the race had to face the desert alone and all the possible difficulties which could appear along the way. The girl from Corbera de Llobregat reacted with strength and courage, asserting her character as is normal in a competitor of her stature, and gave a great performance in today’s stage, the ninth of the rally. The eleven times Women’s Trial World Champion finished the special in 40th place, her best classification in this Dakar event, and in the general she holds position 46.

“It was a very good day because I could ride without anyone in front to bother me, without dust, and for 90% of the special I was on my own without seeing a single other bike. It was a fantastic feeling and I also navigated well, without mistakes and with a good safe rhythm”, said Laia.

The Gas Gas rider also spoke about Marc Guasch, but she emphasised that she is resolute in facing the rest of the rally: “I am very sad for him and I’m so sorry about what has happened to him. In terms of the sport, his absence is a great loss to the team, but I feel very strong and have a lot of confidence in getting through the rest of the race. I am not at all afraid about going on alone. I know my abilities and I will try to get to the finish, and to do so in the best place that I can. The only thing that worries me is if something goes wrong and I don’t know how to deal with it, for the rest I am quite calm”.


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