News 12 Jan 2015

Gonçalves scores stage seven win as Dakar resumes

Australian debutant Price continues top five form.

Source: HRC.

Source: HRC.

Paulo Gonçalves has been extremely consistent from the start at the 2015 Dakar Rally, but he knows he also needs to win if he is to triumph in Buenos Aires – exactly what he did during stage seven on Sunday.

It was mission accomplished for Gonçalves as he claimed his second Dakar win in the stage from Iquique to Uyuni and stayed in contention for the overall win.

The ambitious Gonçalves spent the first week waiting to jump on any opening left by the Joan Barreda/Marc Coma leading duo.

However, the Portuguese rider stepped right into the fray on the way to Salar de Uyuni, taking his first win in 2015 by a wafer-thin margin of 14 seconds over Marc Coma and moving up to 10 minutes behind overall leader Barreda.

The first part of the marathon stage did not go according to plan for the leader of the Honda clan, who took a tumble 200km into the special and smashed his handlebars – forced to complete the stage with his handlebars snapped in two!

The Spaniard rode heroically with one hand for 120km, but saw his lead in the general classification halved. He will have to repair the motorcycle alone this evening and hope one of his teammates can give him a spare handlebar.

Matthias Walkner had a much better day at the office, finishing third half a minute behind the leader and ahead of Pablo Quintanilla and Australian standout Toby Price, confirming the rise of the new generation. Price remains fifth overall.

Llewellyn Sullivan-Pavey was 74th today and now sits 70th overall, with Simon Pavey 77th on stage and 71st in the overall classification.

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