Bronze in the third stage and climbing to the three thousands meters


After Monday's second stage, in which the team had to deal with inconveniences such as absence of 4x4 dust and punched windscreen, it was hard to put together technique and prepare for the next stage at the same time. But Ales Loprais as a true fighter said: “Although result after the second stage does not look very good and I'm not thrilled at all, it was luck that we managed to reach the finish. Now we can fight again for the podium and I believe that for the victory too because I lose about twenty minutes to De Rooy, our major competitor. The rest we have to solve somehow. Of course there is not much space for mistakes, but we have no other option than board the A variant and fly as good as we can.” The mechanics did a great job at the night from Monday to Tuesday, so Ales could report at the six in the morning local time: “Queen after renovation, night shift, I'm going to ride!”

About half past eight the organizers announced that they approached the target for cars and trucks from originally planned 245 to 222 km. But everything was different half an hour after noon. “It is possible to preserve original special stage for trucks and cars unchanged unlike the morning announcements,” said organizers. Racers could enjoy the Ands in full glory. Trucks had to climb to an altitude of over three kilometres, Aconcagua volcano looked down from its high of 6962 meters at the racers. And it saw a race that had to cheer the team of Loprais. After night toil of mechanics has dove the whole 504 crew and the Queen great job. And finally it was another position on the podium!


Ales Loprais reached the finish in San Juan as the third, just five minutes after the Russian Karginov from Kamaz and two minutes after Dutchman De Rooy. After the silver first stage the 504 crew won in the third part of Dakar adventure bronze. In the overall ranking is the crew now fifth. 
“From the fifteenth starting position to the stage bronze! What can I say? After a hellish experience of the second stage it was pleasant variety for the whole team and the second podium finish in the first three stages. I have to admit that the start of the Dakar 2014 is the most complicated in terms of difficulty of stages. The organizers really fulfilled what they promised. Devastation of crews, junkyard of technique and constantly changing position across all categories – it is return to the roots of Dakar. I really would like to go through this adrenaline to the finish of race. Tomorrow at six in the morning we will begin the longest stage of this year’s Dakar. Good night...” said Ales Loprais.

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