Forced before the second rest day at the “Dakar-2018” the situation in all four categories remained unchanged, but the finish line is still far and times may change.
500-kilometer special stage was both the longest and the hardest at the “Dakar-2018”. Precipitation on the Bolivian plateau areas at an altitude of over 4800 meters above sea level added further problems to the participants. Crews had to deal with their own fatigue and equipment wear after the marathon stage yesterday, after they were deprived of technical support.
Antoine MEO returns to the big game. Again, like last Thursday, the French KTM rider was not equal. At the finish in Tupiza it for a minute ahead of the nearest pursuer, which was the American Ricky Brabeck. Meanwhile, the General classification continues to lead the representative of Yamaha’s Adrien van Beveren, ahead by 22 seconds Kevin Benavides.
In the category of SUVs Stephane Peterhansel was able to rehabilitate himself after the disaster the day before and celebrated the victory. Titled Frenchman finished with a lead of 42 seconds from team-mate at Peugeot of Cyril despres. But neither the take of teammates, nor the third chief rival Nasser al attii not shaken the position of Carlos Sainz in the overall standings. “Madator” still in the lead with a huge handicap in 1 hour and 6 minutes.
Among the quads confident gait to the second victory after 2014 is Ignacio Casale, but in the eighth stage, the Chilean was not the best and lost the duel Simon Wits, who, like Axel Guthrie a day earlier, for the first time in his career won the special stage of “Dakar”.
In the category of trucks the best was the driver of the “KAMAZ-Master” Dmitry Sotnikov, on Saturday lost time due to a turbine failure. Last year’s silver medalist for the first time in “Dakar-2018” celebrated a victory in the special. The overall leader Eduard Nikolaev finished fourth, losing to the Federico Villagra on the Iveco and the third driver of the “KAMAZ” Airat Mardeev.
For the first time a Spanish motorcycle racer Laia Sanz has managed to rise so high. Despite the difficult weather conditions and the length of the stage, a brave girl, phenomenal finished in tenth place in the overall standings thanks to this result rose from 18th to 14th place.
The last time in the top ten at stages “Dakar” Sansa fell for three years ago.
Looks like Xavier de Soltre someone jinxed at the “Dakar” after promising performances in 2014 and 2015. Otherwise, how else to explain that for the third consecutive year the Frenchman has consistently faced challenges. In 2016, it went down because of engine failure three days before the completion of the rally-marathon. Another crash knocked him out of action last year. This time de Soltre made a very costly error on 171 kilometer eighth stage and in the fall she received a broken elbow and a dislocated knee.
13-time winner of the rally Stephane Peterhansel won his second special stage this year and increased the total score to 40 victories in the category of SUVs. Just ahead of “the flying Finn” Ari Vatanen won with 50 stages. And, of course, not to say that the pursuit of Peterhansel for the 14th victory in the overall standings over…
Nasser al-Attiyah: “I Have no problems at high altitude, but it was a very long stage with lots of camel grass. We’re here at the finish, and in principle, all happy. In the next six days we will try to do my best. If Carlos made a mistake, then we will have a chance to catch up. But playing for an hour it will be very difficult.”
The organizers had no choice but to cancel the ninth stage, which was to be held on Monday between Topical and Salty. Due to the difficult weather conditions that prevail in the last days in the region and led to a flood at the bivouac, the team will not be able to fully carry out the maintenance and repair of equipment after demanding marathon stage. So it was decided to send a caravan of members to the bivouac in Salta in road mode. In combat mode “Dakar-2018” will continue on Tuesday, when from Salta to belém will be the tenth stage.
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