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Stage 11: Laia Sanz, alone in the marathon stage

The Gas Gas rider is putting up a splendid performance in the second half of the race. “Today I finished exhausted, but I am very pleased with the work done in a very tough stage”.
Laia Sanz finished the eleventh special in 39th place, another great result for her, continuing her improvement in the general classification so that she is now in 40th place, just one place from equalling her result in last year’s event.

The Dakar is a continuous challenge and for Laia it could be no less. The Gas Gas rider faced the marathon stage today, the first of this type since 2007. In practice this meant that the Dakar Women’s Champion could not get help from the team mechanic, the same as for the other bikers, but neither could she count on her team mate Marc Guasch, who is still in hospital in Chile, progressing well. Laia had to manage servicing her bike by herself and bivouac to be ready for the twelfth stage of the rally tomorrow.

For this reason the Spanish girl has kept up her precautions of the last few days, but without missing any chance to move up a place: “Today’s stage was bike-breaking. We had to ford two rivers where the water came up to waist level and in one of them there was a current that swept you away. In the first ford there were a lot of riders with problems getting across, because it was easy to lose your balance and the bike could fall over. For many of them water had got into the filter and they found it difficult to start the engines again. So I looked for another place to cross, a little further away, trying it out, and it worked well. Then we came to an area of around 40 kilometres with “fesh fesh” which was very hard, both for the riders and for the bikes. There I finished up absolutely wrecked. I thought I was the only one to be so tired, but when I came to the finishing line everyone was saying how exhausted they were. In the last part there were some very fast stretches, but I took it quietly”.


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