2011 Dakar Rally Coverage on Versus
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Kudos to the Versus and its same day coverage of the 2011 Dakar Rally
. The cable network’s half-hour daily recap is concise yet informative. It’s keeping tabs on the leaders of the motorcycles and cars, as well as special attention on the American entries. The Versus coverage is also getting the post-stage interview updates from the front-runners, and it appears Coma and Despres are going to take it down to the wire.
Cyril Despres on the move in Stage 4 in the 2011 Dakar. Watch the Frenchman battle with fellow KTM ace Marc Coma every evening with same-day coverage on Versus.
The high-definition aerial footage, particularly through the mega-sized dunes, is astounding. The footage captures the inherent drama and chaos of the event. Cars hopeless stuck are winched out by teammates. One particularly buried quad, piloted by an Argentine rider, was rescued by the local fans who endured faces blasted by sand to rescue their beleaguered countryman. Other drivers aren’t so lucky, like American Robby Gordon, whose Dakar is now over after his teammate passed by without dropping off parts to fix a wheel bearing heading the start of Stage 4.
Navigating their way through the Dakar course is extra difficult for the motorcyclists, who lack a copilot. Coma and Despres’ navigation abilities must be even keener, as the front-runner is tasked with the extra burden of trailblazing. His competitors can make up time by following his tracks. Aerial shots show riders, obviously confused about the course, scrambling around in circles, it must be infuriating – racing but uable to point themselves in the right direction. If they’re lucky trackside fans are there frantically waving the right direction… provided the fans are giving them good directions!
It seems the riders even have to put up with us television fans too, as the aerial photography looked almost too close during Day 3. Yamaha’s Helder Rodrigues seemed to be flailing his arms at the camera helicopter with dust clouds whipped up and obscuring the path before him.
Also, one last praise for the Versus coverage, Ms. Ines Sainz… Versus somehow convinced the TV Azteca sports reporter to follow the dusty Dakar route and file daily cultural reports on the area the rally is passing through. Yes, it’s the same Ines Sainz who raised a ruckus in the New York Jets locker room earlier this season. Not familiar with her body of work? Definitely worth researching...
Dakar Rally Stage 5 coverage airs tonight at 12 p.m. EST. Make sure to check it out.
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