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Marc Guasch crosses the salt desert in the Top 20

13/01/2014
From low to high. Guasch ended the eighth day in 17th place after skirting the Salar de Uyuni and reaching the Chilean border at a distance of 462 kilometers of special. Dani Oliveras crossed the finish line in 34th position. Both maintain their positions in the general classification.
With a starting height at 3,500 meters altitude, today the Gas Gas riders have faced all kinds of surfaces. Sandy roads, dirt roads and stony soil on a cruise with salt as the protagonist and the witness being the Tunupa volcano, located at 5,300 meters altitude. With that white backdrop, Marc Guasch finished 17th on a journey in which motorcycles and quads of this Dakar traversed the world's largest salt lake. "I could keep up with the front runners so I recovered positions. There are large differences in peak velocities in the rest of the other bikes" , says the ambitious rider from Garriga, who now stands in the same general position as his competition number of 27.

A magnificent result that supports their trajectory in this rally, clearly less to more, and demonstrates their skill at handling the Gas Gas EC 450 Raid. "The bike is working very well and I endured these two stages smoothly. I am increasingly confident and more loose, so I find myself tighter in the twisty areas.”

The progression of Oliveras
For his part, Dani Oliveras has consigned a 34th place that allows him to place within the top 35 of the Dakar which is very hard. "Yesterday was a stage with a fast track, with lots of cheering. However, the fact of starting the special at 4,000 meters has made ​​me half sick ". The young rider solved this with deep breathing and taking things easy. "The point was to make minimal efforts and fine riding to suit the height factor. Both Marc and I had a good stage."

Today he rode with another dose of prudence. "We expected a stage at 4,000 meters high all the time," says the rider of the Spanish brand. "There were changes of pace, some slower and others faster. So we had to stay calm to prevent unnecessary effort because the lack of oxygen makes you get worse." Faced with adversity, Oliveras has pooled his resources like a veteran. "We had only one small problem with a short in the brake light that made the bike die when braking. We solved it I continued on." Even the Achilles heel of other stages, seems overcome. "I have not missed any waypoints. That is the goal, not missing any and learning every day. We expect five more days quite hard and it is important to be here."

Dani is very close to the possibility of a third place ranking for a Rookie of the Dakar, as he is only 17 minutes behind to reach the third position ...

The race now rests in Calama, northern Chile, with the intent to regain strength for the ninth stage. Tomorrow the riders will be measured at the dunes of the Atacama Desert, the setting where competitors complete several stages before tackling the last leg of the rally.

MARC GUASCH, rider Gas Gas, #27
"I could keep up with the front runners so I recovered positions. There are large differences in peak velocities in the rest of the other bikes. Anyway, The bike is working very well and I endured these two stages smoothly. I am increasingly confident and more loose, so I find myself tighter in the twisty areas.”

DANI OLIVERAS, rider Gas Gas, #45
"Yesterday was a stage with a fast track, with lots of cheering. However, the fact of starting the special at 4,000 meters has made ​​me half sick. The point was to make minimal efforts and fine riding to suit the height factor. Both Marc and I had a good stage, riding together just fine. It was a marathon stage and we had to conserve. Today we expect a stage where we were 4,000 meters all the time, along the salt lake. There were changes of pace, some slower and others faster. So we had to stay calm to prevent unnecessary effort because the lack of oxygen makes you get worse, at the end we felt good. We had only one small problem with a short in the brake light that made the bike die when braking. We solved it I continued on. I believe I've made ​​a good step, I have not missed any waypoints. That is the goal, not missing any and learning every day. We expect five more days quite hard and it is important to be here."

STAGE CLASSIFICATION
1.     Cyril Despres              5h23’14”
2.     Joan Barreda              +02’09”
3.     Marc Coma                  +02’15”
4.     Helder Rodrigues            +06’38”
5.     Olivier Pain                  +10’40”

17. Marc Guasch      (Gas Gas)    +26’00” 
34. Dani Oliveras      (Gas Gas)   +40’34”
72. Miguel Puertas   (Gas Gas) +1h43’21”


GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Marc Coma                          32h06’14”
2. Joan Barreda                          +38’08”
3. Jordi Viladoms                     +1h27’27”
4. Israel Esquerre                    +1h52’10”
5. Olivier Pain                          +1h59’12”


27. Marc Guasch   (Gas Gas)       +6h55’55”   
35. Dani Oliveras  (Gas Gas)        +8h26’47”
78. Miguel Puertas (Gas Gas)      +26h42’08”

Ninth stage. Tuesday, January 14th
Stage 9: Calama - Iquique
Link: 29 km Special: 422 km Total: 451 km
The 2014 Dakar reaches its northernmost point in Iquique, where competitors will also see the ocean for the first time this year. They will find, after a rather brittle first part of the special, the Atacama dunes. In almost 150 km, those who have the best crossing will have the last word. Great excitement at the end of the day, with three kilometers of steep decline into Iquique, where we expect the slope to exceed 30% and braking is not recommended. The bivouac is approaching fast.


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