Today the 14th stage of the Dakar left from Al-Hofuf and ended in Dammam, 417 kilometers divided into a link of 281km and a special of 136. The start was in reverse order to the general classification and had to go through a fast special, without major difficulties, but the overnight rains left a lot of mud on the route, so it was very slippery, also today was difficult to validate correctly at the waypoints.
Cabrera has taken the start of this last stage with the clear intention of reaching the finish line, so he made sure to avoid unnecessary risks, ride with intelligence, not skip any waypoint and try to maintain his 37th position in the provisional general. Pato crossed the finish line in 43rd position of the stage, consolidating his 37th place in the overall standings and 20th in the Rally2 category. In addition to fulfilling his dream before starting this tough edition of the Dakar, he's been crowned as the youngest Legend rider in the history of the Dakar.
In these days of intense competition, Pato Cabrera has managed to win the affection of the entire Rieju Team family, assistance, mechanics, riders and fans, thanks to his always positive character and vision of the race, an example of mental strength that has taught us all how great one can be while still being young, a well-deserved trophy Pato!
Diego Llanos has also managed to finish the Dakar 2023, although as a re-joined rider, the Argentinean wanted to complete the rally with the Rieju Team. Today he finished 33rd overall and 17th in rally2.
Daniel Nosiglia, after being among the leading riders of the rally in the last stages, was forced to withdraw on the penultimate day of the competition. Sandra Gómez also had a great performance, leading the women's category.
#35 Patricio Cabrera:
"Last day of the Dakar Rally, very hard. A stage that I think surprised us all as it was very difficult, we had to be super smart not to take more risks than usual in a stage with a lot of mud. The most important thing is I reached the finish line in good shape and met the goal I had set for myself. So happy about it all, and now to concentrate, enjoy, rest, and see what the future holds."
#29 Diego Llanos:
"It was a short stage, with 136 kilometers and we had to practically open track with a lot of mud, so happy. All in all, from this Dakar we have to take the positive part that is to be able to finish it, the whole team is leaving with a good impression, so I'm happy, hope there will be a next Dakar and that we can get a better result".
Miquel García Rieju Team Manager:
"The goal we had set as a team before the start of this third Dakar for the Rieju Team, we have not been able to achieve it. I feel bad about the fact that two of our riders had to abandon due to mechanical mishaps, like Dani Nosiglia carrying out a great performance, but then habing to abandon in the penultimate stage. It is the first time this has happened to us since we started, but we have faced the most complex edition of the Dakar since we started the rally, under constantly changing conditions, very hard not only on the riders, but also for the assistance, with very long routes, accumulating fatigue and stress. In fact, despite suffering from the most difficult conditions, we have been able to learn from the experience, trying to bring the mark to the end, but unfortunately we have only achieved 50%, so I can not be satisfied with the overall result. I hope that for the next edition we know how to redirect it and learn from the failures we've had.
On a positive note, Patricio Cabrera has managed to finish his tenth Dakar with Rieju and has become a Legend rider of the legendary event at the age of 32, a historic milestone that we have been part of and for which we must be grateful. As a team we have been really united during these hard weeks, enjoying the good moments and overcoming the bad ones, which has been important to get through the stages".
The Dakar 2023 has come to an end and despite the hard moments that the whole team has suffered, we will always remember this edition as one of the most intense in the good and the not-so-good that the Rieju Team family has experienced.
Now, we will continue working to prepare the 2024 Dakar with the same enthusiasm as always!