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Stage 7: The Gas Gas Dakar Team reaches Argentina

11/01/2013
STAGE 7. (Friday) CALAMA-SALTA
The three Team Gas Gas Dakar riders day after day overcome the stages with the brand new Gas Gas EC 450 Raid. The newly released machine from the Girona mark is proving very reliable and today has led Marc Guasch, Laia Sanz and Miguel Puertas to Calama, Argentina. The dreaded marathon stage -without assistance- particularly of 218 km and a 418 km links at the beginning and end, represented a challenge because the altitude exceeded 3,500 meters. Fatigue begins to take its toll on bikes and participants, with some important riders dropping-out due to mechanical problems. It has not been the case of Gas Gas, with three riders who have preserved the mechanics of the machines without giving up their goals. Marc Guasch on Friday has been the best team rider finishing the stage in 27th place, just over 10 minutes behind the winner, Kurt Caselli. Increasingly confident, Marc is doing more and more at Dakar and is on the doorstep of entering into the top 30 overall. Retaining the mechanical integrity of the bike, knowing that the goal is to reach the rest-day on Sunday, but this does not preclude further progression.

Laia Sanz has suffered from the fall that happened on Thursday and she bruised her right hand. However, the rider from Corbera de Llobregat has overcome swelling and completed the Friday total 636 km goal in the 43rd position. Laia still feels very comfortable with a motorcycle that is lighter and narrower than its predecessor and this is enabling her to reach the 34th overall position.

Rested very little because of Thursday's late finish due to a broken front wheel after colliding with a stone, but it seems that nothing can stop Miguel Puertas. The Granada rider knows the importance of his mission to finish the Dakar and support his teammates. So on Friday Michael has risen to the 75th position. Today's stage will be from Salta to San Miguel where they will have a deserved rest.


CLASSIFICATION STAGE 7

1. Kurt Caselli                      1h:51' 31"
2. Francisco "Chaleco" López    +01'23"
3. Frans Verhoeven                  +01'23"
4. Kurt Caselli                        +01'30"
5. Ruben Faria                        +02'30"
...
27. MARC GUASCH                 +10'36"
43. LAIA SANZ                         +17'51"
75. MIGUEL PUERTAS              +34'48"


CLASSIFICATION GENERAL

1. Olivier Pain                       17h:28'17"
2. Francisco "Chaleco" López        +06'06"
3. David Casteau                        +06'37"
4. Ruben Faria                             +09'42"            
5. Cyril Despres                            +14'07"
...
31. MARC GUASCH                     +2h06'36"
34. LAIA SANZ                           +2h13'33"
106. MIGUEL PUERTAS                +09h09'30"

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