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Laia Sanz: "I'm surprised with the new bike and my fitness"

SAN MIGUEL DE TUCUMÁN, 13th of January 2013
Question: After passing the test in Ecuador, what assessment do you have in this year's Dakar?

Laia Sanz: Unlike other years, the race began playing hardball from the start in Peru. And this year it ismore even looking at the pace that most riders maintain. I am amazed at the handling of the new bike and my fitness, considering that we could not train all that we wanted before the Dakar. So far everything is working perfectly on the computer, but much still remains.

Q: How do you feel now at the rest day after eight stages of this level?

L.S: The truth is that I am very happy with the way things are going so far. Today there is no competition and I noticed the 'downturn' and the accumulated fatigue. It will be good to recuperate, so as to have the strength to face the remainder of Dakar. What is the worst are the altitude changes, affecting me a lot in the links and trying not to stress.

Q. It seems not. As yesterday you had a personal best and also the team (13th) in a stage and partial result Were you expecting it?

L.S: No! I was lucky because many riders were lost at an intersection that was very hidden. This allowed me to move up and finish in the top 15. At the end of the day, these cases demonstrate that when you navigate well in this race it also counts.

Q. You've had a couple of falls in recent days. Are you fully recovered from your right hand and the little finger of the left hand?

L.S: Yes, precisely. In the links I'm perfectly good and can address the remainder of race without problems.
Q. What do you think are the main challenges in the next stages?

L.S: No doubt we will see how the heat will take its toll and this will be one of the elements to consider. Maybe there will not be much navigation because of many tracks to follow, but not to forget that we still have to do the toughest stage of the entire Dakar: Fiambalá.

Q. As you already are in the 30th position in the overall standings, what is the strategy for the remainder of the race?

L.S: We follow the same path. If we do not risk too much and we do the same so far, without making mistakes or wasting time, I know we will improve the result of the previous year.


Q. Marc, since you started the Dakar you have gone from low to high and are now in the 29th position. How was the first week of competition?

Marc Guasch: I worked hard on the bike to improve it every day. Most importantly, the mechanical and physical in the first week. Like many other riders, I have not had much luck with navigation, but the goal is being met and we do not have to rush. Our goal is that all three bikes arrive to Santiago and we will look forward if all goes as usual.
Q. How are you now at the rest day?

M.G: I always looks forward to this day. We are suffering a lot with changes in altitude, we are very sleepy ... The important thing is to charge the batteries because there are still many miles ahead.

Q. Is it surprising to you that riders who were favorites have had so many problems?

M.G: When you go fast in the beginning you destroy the mechanics of the machine and there are more things that can happen. No one has been spared these problems. I have dedicated myself to run in the second group because I knew of the importance of conserving our machine, we are going up in the standings because we are not forcing the positions each day.


Q. You finished seven Dakars but this is the first time you do it with an official team, how is this life?

Miguel Puertas: Every day I feel more comfortable with the bike. I'm enjoying Dakar even more, not only to finish the event but being part of a project and to meet the target of a trademark such as Gas Gas.

Q. All three riders have reached the rest day with no problems, what is the mindset to meet the team's goal?

M.P: It is important that we do not become over confident because that would be a mistake. I do not want to be euphoric, but a high level of concentration is required by me to avoid mistakes. It's a race "of attrition" and therefore we should not take too many risks. I do not like it being so far behind Marc and Laia, but yes, I ride with control being ready to help them any time they need it.

View photos of the whole team at


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