For the most part, Day 7 of the 2013 Dakar was a high altitude, high-speed run from Chile into Argentina. Unfortunately a French competitor in the Bike Class, Thomas Bourgin, was killed in a traffic accident in the transit section out of Calama, Chile. Perhaps the high altitude combined with the mental strain of the Dakar Rally impaired the alertness of the rider.
Map Of Day 7 Stages
Day 7 was another day with Robby Gordon trying to win the battle, knowing that the war is lost. Gordon finished third on today’s stage for the third day in a row. Robby Gordon is very provocative, but I think very good at promoting himself and his rebellious brand around the world. Gordon’s TV interviews are always quite frank and today was no exception when he told the interviewer that Nasser Al-Attiyah “was full of sh*t”. This behavior might offend the sensitivities of some Dakar fans, but I find such frankness to be refreshing.
Today’s stage was won by Stephane Peterhansel who just keeps rolling along. It certainly looks like he will be hard to beat, but when you look at the overall standings, you can see that he can be beaten. Today’s stage win for Peterhansel was his 61st all-time Dakar stage win!
Chicherit in his SMG buggy was second on today’s stage. This was very good finish as he struggles with injured hands as a result of a power steering failure on Day 5. The results today were all quite close with the 10th place car only about 6 minutes behind the stage winner Peterhansel.
The top ten stage finishers in the car class on Day 7 are presented in the following table:
2013 Dakar Rally Results From Day/Stage 7 – Car Class
|1||PETERHANSEL (FRA)COTTRET (FRA)||MINI||01:47:27||–||–|
|2||CHICHERIT (FRA)GARCIN (FRA)||SMG||01:48:06||00:00:39||–|
|3||GORDON (USA)WALCH (USA)||Hummer||01:48:35||00:01:08||–|
|4||TERRANOVA (ARG)FIUZA (PRT)||BMW||01:48:38||00:01:11||–|
|5||DE VILLIERS (ZAF)VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU)||TOYOTA||01:48:59||00:01:32||–|
|6||AL-ATTIYAH (QAT)CRUZ (ESP)||BUGGY||01:49:23||00:01:56||–|
|7||WEVERS (NLD)LURQUIN (BEL)||FORD||01:51:12||00:03:45||–|
|8||NOVISTKIY (RUS)ZHILTSOV (RUS)||MINI||01:51:34||00:04:07||–|
|9||SOUSA (PRT)RAMALHO (PRT)||GREAT WALL||01:52:01||00:04:34||–|
|10||ÁLVAREZ (ARG)GRAUE (ARG)||TOYOTA||01:53:51||00:06:24||–|
After the stage, Robby Gordon had the following to say: “Today was a good special for us. Obviously we didn’t win the special but we finished second (actually he finished 3rd), which is a good thing. I’m still mad at myself from day four. If we hadn’t done that, we’d be third place in the rally right now. The first couple of mistakes could have been enough, but the last one was kind of the one that twisted the sword that was inside of us.”
Robby Gordon’s In the Salta Service Area
The top 10 cars at the 2013 Dakar Rally are shown in the table below. As you can see, it really has become a two-car rally between Peterhansel and Al-Attiyah. The three minutes between these cars means almost nothing at this point in the rally. The 44 minutes back to third place De Villiers does mean something and he will need one of the top two cars to have a major problem before he can move up into the top two positions.
2013 Dakar Rally Overall Standings After Day 7 – Cars Class
|1||PETERHANSEL (FRA)COTTRET (FRA)||MINI||16:23:43||–||–|
|2||AL-ATTIYAH (QAT)CRUZ (ESP)||BUGGY||16:26:57||00:03:14||–|
|3||DE VILLIERS (ZAF)VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU)||TOYOTA||17:07:46||00:44:03||–|
|4||NOVISTKIY (RUS)ZHILTSOV (RUS)||MINI||17:12:37||00:48:54||–|
|5||CHICHERIT (FRA)GARCIN (FRA)||SMG||17:40:48||01:17:05||–|
|6||CHABOT (FRA)PILLOT (FRA)||SMG||17:58:34||01:34:51||00:01:00|
|7||ROMA (ESP)PÉRIN (FRA)||MINI||18:02:10||01:38:27||–|
|8||ERRANDONEA (AND)DEBRON (FRA)||SMG||18:26:01||02:02:18||00:01:00|
|9||TERRANOVA (ARG)FIUZA (PRT)||BMW||18:30:21||02:06:38||–|
|10||SOUSA (PRT)RAMALHO (PRT)||GREAT WALL||18:31:12||02:07:29||–|
In the Bike Class, Day 7 was a very special day for the American rider, Kurt Caselli. He became the first American to win a Dakar bike stage since Jonah Street in 2009 and the first rookie to win a Dakar stage since 2006. Very impressive! Caselli is riding in place of Marc Coma who did not enter this year due to an injury at a previous event. However Coma is at the event and is very much involved in teaching Caselli the ins and outs of the Dakar Rally.
I have been saying all along that Cyril Despres is the rider to beat in the Bike Class at Dakar. However he has not been the dominant rider that I thought that he would be. On Day 7 Despres finished 23rd on the stage. I am still waiting for the Dakar cream to rise to the top.
The following are the top 10 stage finishers in the Bike Class for Day 7 of the 2013 Dakar Rally:
2013 Dakar Rally Day/Stage 7 Results – Bike Class
In the overall bike class standings, Oliver Pain on a Yamaha is maintaining his lead. The overall standings in the Bike Class are still very close, especially for the top five bikes. One bad day for any of these riders would have a substantial shake-up in the overall standings.
After Day 7, the overall standings in the Bike Class are as follows:
2013 Dakar Rally Overall Standings After Day 7 – Bike Class
|10||ISRAEL ESQUERRE (CHL)||HONDA||17:58:52||00:30:35||00:12:00|
The more I that I find out about background story of Dakar, the more impressed that I am about all of the work required to move this rally across South America. Below I have included a picture of one of the Tv helicopters that provide all of those great videos that some of us wake up in the middle of the night to watch.
A Dakar TV Helicopter in Salta
After tomorrow’s Day 8 stage, the competitors can look forward to a day off at the halfway point of the 2013 Dakar Rally.