Stage 13: La Serena – Valparaíso
Road connection: 122 km
Selective Section: 157 km
Road connection: 256 km
Total: 535 km
The last special stage of the Dakar 2014 was located in sinuous hilly roads of Canela, surrounded by cacti on slippery tracks due to the morning rain. All drivers were required to stay focused to avoid any mistakes before the checkered flag announced the race is over. Mission accomplished for Willy Alcaraz, Nicolas Duclos and Sebastian Delaunay that crossed the finish line, the three of them quite moved by taking the two first steps of the 2014 podium. This is the third outstanding victory for Willy Alcaraz driving the Polaris RZR Xtremeplus and for Nicolas Duclos and Sebastian Delaunay, an excellent second place.
Willy Alcaraz N°350: “It was the same special we had last year here, and also brittle, says Willy with tears in his eyes. There were dried rivers with big stones; I thought I could never get out of there. To be focused all the way was mandatory because it was very easy to slip away from the track, and I saw some traces of cars that went out. Today, it was required to show driving skills and not just to let go.”
Proudly, Willy wears the t-shirt of the winner. “This morning, I put on the t-shirt that says “Polaris Three Times Dakar Winner”. I am very moved because it was an extremely hard race. It is excellent for us to be two at the finish line, please understand it is a pity for the two RZR that had to abandon the race. I am so happy with this third victory because if the first Dakar on board of the RZR was a challenge, and that I targeted the finish line, this one was a continuous fight with Coronel as much as it was with Nicolas. This victory has a special taste for me!
The entire teams did a great job, and as I always do, I´m thankful for them. The environment within the Xtremeplus team is great among all members, which is fantastic, it´s like a big family!”
Nicolas Duclos/Sébastien Delaunay N°364: “These last kilometers were beautiful, tells Nicolas at the arrival to Illapel. In the middle of the cacti, the road was slippery at some points so you had to be very careful not to make a mistake. This morning, I had some pressure because we had to make it to the finish line without taking any risks, but at the same time, do our best. I can´t believe we are here. Compared to 2013, this was a lot harder at a physical level, but we did well and we took our place. Sebastien has done an excellent job, as usual… We didn’t make any mistake in almost 900 km of the race, and we kept our pace through all stages. This should keep on going, the Dakar is so great!”