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Dakar 2011: Hélder Rodrigues on the podium 2011-01-17 » Dakar 2011: Hélder Rodrigues on the podium

Not good for cardiac people.That´s the way it was, the final of the Dakar Argentina-Chile Rally, where the Drenaline pilot obtained the 3rd place of the general classification and so he wrote one more chapter of the protuguese sport history. After beeing the 2nd faster on the last special timed, giving the victory on the race to the belgian Verhoeven (BMW) for few 5 seconds, Rodrigues had to wait, at the terminus, for Francisco Lopez Contardo - who had several mechanical problems and, in the end of the day, lost 1h12´29 on the 181 km of this section. On balance, the Drenaline pilot breathed with relief and joined Marc Conma and Cyril Despres on the podium of the competition.

Hélder Rodrigues was a realized pilot in his way back to Buenos Aires: "Today I mantained the same atitude of last days and I was able to be fast. To rise to the podium was, since the first moment, my main goal and, at last, I realized it by own merit, cause the Dakar is a test at all levels. My bike behaved correctly. Francisco had problems and his bike mechanic did not resist, so we exchange the position. As I confirmed before, Dakar just ends in last race and until there, everything can happen.I´m, naturally, very happy and motivated to go on representing Portugal at the highest level on the Dakar stage!"

At the end, Hélder Rodrigues completes his participation on the Dakar Rally with a 3rd place in the general behind the Gaulish Cyril Despres and at 1h40´20 from the Spanish Marc Coma.