Chilecito > Fiambala
The stage was split in two completely different challenges as the rally reaches the foothills of the Andes, with bikes and quads tackling 265km of sand dunes, dirt and a long section of rocky tracks, whilst the cars and trucks drove not only a different route but in a different direction on a 177km stage of sand dunes and dirt tracks. I have no idea why the bikers always get a harder time of it!
The heat of the desert is a real challenge for everyone, it is important to stay hydrated.
Stage 5 Summary (3min):
The video gives different distance figures to the map I described above, so perhaps the stages were amended. Difficulties today for al-Attiyah.
Videos from the official Dakar YouTube channel / ASO.
Don’t read this until you’ve seen the videos.
Today – Bikes
Despres and Coma have made this their own battle, nobody else is even close. If you watched the profile of Mattheiu Lagrive the other day, I’m sorry to say he withdrew from the rally in this stage.
1. Despres (KTM)
2. Coma (KTM) +1m41s
3. Barreda Bort (Husqvarna) +12m42s
4. Svitko (KTM) +13m55s
5. Viladoms (KTM) +14m17s
Overall – Bikes
1. Despres (KTM)
2. Coma (KTM) +9m51s
3. Rodrigues (Yamaha) +47m56s
4. Lopez (Aprilia) +49m00s
5. Goncalves (Husqvarna) +54m47s
Today – Cars
Orlando Terranova (Toyota) who’d occasionally set top five stage times, was forced to withdraw today because of a huge argument with his co-driver, who refused to work with him any more! Apparently Terranova was running so close to the bikes he was almost knocking them over, and as a rider in other competitions his co-driver Grider didn’t take well to that. Just goes to show it isn’t just the terrain, temperature and dust that you have to deal with, it is temperament as well.
1. Holowcyc (MINI)
2. Gordon (Hummer) +1m01s
3. Peterhansel (MINI) +3m52s
4. Roma (MINI) +7m47s
5. Novitsky (MINI) +8m18s
Overall – Cars
1. Peterhansel (MINI)
2. Holowcyc (MINI) +4m18s
3. Roma (MINI) +10m39s
4. Gordon (Hummer) +13m32s
5. De Villiers (Toyota) +21m01s
Holowcyc up to 2nd, Gordon up a spot and De Villiers drops 3 places.
Finally, one of the top competitors in the trucks class, Nikolaev in the Kamaz, hoping to do well after the top two Kamaz drivers didn’t enter this year, was disqualified I believe either due to hitting a car competitor or for unsportsmanlike conduct.