On the last day before moving to Bolivia difficult and treacherous Peruvian itinerary of the rally-marathon “Dakar-2018” has not given to the participants to exhale. At the fifth stage dropped two more serious contenders in their classes – Sebastien Loeb and Sergey Karjakin.
The fifth and final stage in Peru was no different from previous: all the same Sands. The mountainous dunes of Tacna was merciless to the participants, and ahead of the long road to Arequipa.
Joan Barreda rushes forward Board – the Honda rider won a landslide victory and played again nine places in the General classification, reducing by more than ten minutes behind the Matthias Walkner and Kevin Benavides. Adrien van Beveren continues to lead in the overall standings, but the advantage of the rider the Yamaha is only a minute, while his main rival Pablo Quintanilla lost a lot of time on the fifth day.
In the category of SUVs, the first victory in “Dakar-2018” was won by Stephane Peterhansel. In overcoming the last of the Peruvian dunes 13-time winner fully demonstrated their skills and nearly five minutes ahead of the second finisher Bernard Ten Brink. In the overall standings, “Mr. Dakar” is leading with an advantage of more than half an hour on the last remaining in the fight partner Peugeot with Carlos Sainz.
In the Quad class the first victory was celebrated newcomer Nicholas Kailasa. But the highlight of the day was the gathering of the current winner Sergey Karjakin. At the 44th kilometer of the Russian rider failed to jump off the dunes, hit the ditch, which was downstairs, and crashed into a wall of sand. As a result of the accident Sergey, unfortunately, broke his right arm and is unable to continue the race.
The current winner in the category of SUVs Eduard Nikolaev also did not escape the problem. At the beginning of the race KAMAZ under the number 500 fell to his side. Fortunately, with the help of one of the crew of Tatra truck fast enough to put on wheels, and the crew of Nikolaev not just continued the race, but came to the finish line first, ahead six minutes of the driver of “MAZ-sportavto” Sergei Vyazovich.
French rider Antoine MEO can be happy. In 2016, the multi-time world champion Enduro immediately won two stages on his debut “Dakar”. But the hand injury and several subsequent surgeries knocked him out of action for a year and a half. After winning the fifth stage, the KTM rider has shown that finally returned to the form.
The day after the anniversary of the victory in the special stages Sebastien Loeb on own experience how fickle fortune can be on the “Dakar”. The final stage in Peruvian dunes deprived the nine-time WRC champion of all hope to win. The Frenchman lost more than two hours, stuck in the sand, and was forced to withdraw from the race after the launch of the dune his co-driver Daniel Elena were injured chest and tailbone.
After the withdrawal of Sergei Karjakin in the category of Quad bikes was the only favourite Ignacio Casale. The Chilean, who has won three consecutive wins and has twice finished second, is now leading with a huge lead of 40 minutes over the nearest pursuer by Alexis Hernandez. For comparison, the riders from second to sixth place is shared by 55 minutes.
Sebastien Loeb: “the Sand was very loose. We had dug, but was able to continue driving. Then, on another site, we stumbled upon the crest of a dune to another stuck vehicle. We saw Nasser [al-Attiyah] it has traveled, and did the same. But I didn’t know that immediately behind the crest is a large ditch. BAM, and we’re right in the pit! We helped one of the crews in the trucks category. But most of all I was worried about the state of my Navigator: even at the speed of 30 km/h he was hurt. I doubt that we will be able to continue to participate. I don’t want to force him”.
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