Dakar: Stage 7

Paul Carruthers | January 6, 2006

Carlo De Gavardo won today’s stage of the Dakar Rally, taking full advantage of the injuries suffered by Cyril Despres in yesterday’s stage.

In winning his second stage in a row, De Gavardo passed Isidre Esteve in the overall standings and also gained ground on overall leader Marc Coma with his performance today.

At the end of the 310-mile stage, Despres had lost over 30 minutes to De Gavardo as he continues to fight despite suffering a dislocated collarbone yesterday. For De Gavardo, it was the sixth stage win of his Dakar career.

By moving into second place ahead of Esteve, De Gavardo is now in the perfect position to help his teammate and team leader Coma in the Repsol KTM team with Esteve now the lone hope for victory for the Gauloises KTM team.

It was a bad day for the Americans, or at least one of them as KTM Red Bull’s Andy Grider was forced to quit the rally after crashing and suffering injury, the extent of which is not known yet though Dakar officials are saying it’s not too serious. Grider was airlifted to the Altar medical center in a helicopter.

Grider’s teammate Chris Blais ended the day 13th and is 12th overall while KTM privateer Jonah Street finished 21st today and is still 20th overall.

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.