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Old 01-18-2013, 01:18 PM   #472
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Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Austria
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The day before the finish in Santiago, "Chaleco" Lopez put in a first-class performance between Copiapo and La Serena to pick up his 4th stage victory in 2013 and more importantly to move into 2nd place in the general standings at the expense of Ruben Faria.

On home soil, it is well known that Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez is formidable. As proof, out of his 6 victories on the Dakar before this 35th edition, four of the triumphs were obtained in Chile. The motivation of national pride was all the stronger today since at the start of the 13th stage, the country's idol was in a position to grab 2nd place in the general standings. Taking advantage of being the seventh rider to start, Chaleco let rip over the 380-km of the day's special to leave the stopwatch smoking and pick up his 4th stage victory on the Dakar 2013 and his 10th overall in his career on the event… as well as his 6th on his native Chilean soil. At the finishing line, the Tamarugal Honda rider beat Frenchman Cyril Despres, 2nd today, by 5'25. He also put 5'29" between himself and Portugal's Paulo Gonçalves, but most significantly beat Portuguese rider Ruben Faria, who finished in only 15th place today, by 14'27.

As a result, in the general standings, whilst Cyril Despres remains solidly in the lead, he witnessed "Chaleco" moving into 2nd place, 8'15 behind him, whilst Ruben Faria, the title holder's water carrier, fell back into 3rd, 10'04 in front of Ivan Jakes.

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