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A great performance by Gerard Farrés in a delicate first marathon stage of the Dakar rally as he enters Bolivia

11/01/2015
On Sunday and the seventh stage of this Dakar, Gerard Farrés had his best result with a 24th place. After the rest day in Iquique, the rider of the Gas Gas Pont Grup Seguros Dakar team faced a demanding stage that has led the 'motards' to the high elevation of the salt flats of Salar de Uyuni, in Bolivian territory, and a bivouac where they cannot count upon assistance from their support team. As this was the first part of the marathon stage, the riders will not meet-up again with their team support group until after Monday's stage when they arrive back at Iquique, in this, the queen stage of the Dakar.

With recharged energy and force, now recovered after Saturday's relaxed resting stage in Iquique, Sunday's stage saw Gerard Farrés arrive with his best result of this 2015 Dakar. The Gas Gas rider has completed a solid performance in one of the most delicate days for the two wheeled riders, with a special of 321 kilometers as well as the difficulties they have faced with the added fatigue due to the lack of oxygen, as they have today traveled a route that has taken them above 3500 meters in altitude.

Gerard Farrés has managed the 24th fastest time between Iquique and Uyuni. On Sunday the Dakar entered into Bolivia and did it with a delicate stage, especially in his last fifty kilometers because of routes taking him through mud and water caused by rains in this part of the course during the last few days. For the riders, a day of navigating and conserving the mechanical parts, because once they arrived at the bivouac located amidst the spectacular Salar de Uyuni, - the worlds largest salt flat - wherein, they themselves, without assistance, must perform the maintenance and repair of their machines after this first part of the marathon stage.

After his fantastic performance on Sunday, Farrés moved up to the 47th position in the interim. Sunday evening the 'motards' slept alone in the bivouac of Uyuni, at four thousand meters altitude, before resuming Monday morning on their way back to Iquique to meet up again with their teams, after a timed 781 kilometers and taking into account its extreme length. Monday is the longest of the rally specials and certainly the queen stage of this 37th edition of Dakar.

Gerard Farrés:After a difficult first week for us, we took the day off, in Iquique, to work on our new Gas Gas EC 450 Raid and prepare for the second week, in which it seems, it will still be much harder. The work of our entire team is finally beginning to bear results in Uyuni, one of the most difficult days because of the altitude, navigation and lack of mechanical assistance to reach the bivouac, this twenty-fourth position shows that the basis of our bike is good and that our effort is beginning to bear fruit. We will continue on the same line, improving for the future to reach Buenos Aires. Our focus is on the day, and tomorrow back to Iquique and reconnect with our team, because today in Uyuni there is no assistance."

Stage 7, Sunday (805 km): Iquique-Uyuni
1. Paulo Gonçalves, 3:56:00 
2. Marc Coma, +0:00:14 
3. Matthias Walkner, +0:00:30
24. Gerard Farrés (Gas Gas), +0:15:46

General classification
1. Joan Barreda Bort, 25:40:48
2. Marc Coma, +0:06:28 
3. Paulo Gonçalves, +0:10:59
47. Gerard Farrés (Gas Gas), +9:02:42

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